Kroger Implements Shop24 Global's Newest C-Store at Ohio Northern University
Randi Hernandez, Associate Editor/Online
Published Online: Friday, January 13, 2012
Need everyday essentials in a hurry—24 hours a day and 7 days a week? Kroger’s new robotic C-stores can satisfy these needs.
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, is quickly catching onto the newest trend in the grocery industry—C-stores. These electronic kiosks, also known as robotic convenience retailing, include refrigerated food and amenities such as detergent, soap, ibuprofen, and other toiletries. The 10-by-13 foot machine manufactured by Shop24 Global uses a robotic arm to retrieve an order of up to 7 selected items, and accepts cash, credit cards, debit cards, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) cards, and even student meal plan cards.
Although the machines are already all over Europe, the newest kiosk installment will take place on the campus of Ohio Northern University (ONU) in Ada, Ohio. Kroger’s first C-store in 2007 was also erected in Ohio at a Kroger gas station, and there is a machine on the Morrisville State College campus in New York. The new machine slated to open shortly in Ada will be an updated version of the original model, and will be a stand-alone entity on campus, rather than next to a gas station. It is one of the first few machines from Kroger not considered to be in the “motor fuel segment.” Last month, Shop 24 Global expanded its business into the apartment complex last month with an installation in Utah.
The electronic kiosks serve to take the place of traditional convenience stores. According to Shop24’s Web site, their kiosks provide “increased convenience and satisfaction, while offering a new revenue opportunity, with complete revenue accountability.”
Billed under the brand name “Kroger right now,” the slogan associated with prior Kroger C-stores is “Quick. Easy. Convenient.” Shop24 Global touts a similar catchphrase, “Anything. Anywhere. Anytime.”
To get a better idea of how the robotic machine works, check out the media coverage of Shop24’s innovative machines, often referred to as the “largest vending machine” ever seen: