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In honor of spring, a look at three retail ‘cleaning’ efforts

Kum and Go cleaning robot
Kum and Go is using AI-based robots to clean stores.

Spring is traditionally a clean time, and “clean” retail technology initiatives can take many forms.

It seems hard to believe, but spring is rapidly approaching its end, and with it another season of cleaning, refreshing and revitalizing. Before we shift into summer, let’s take a look at a few retailers leveraging technology to achieve cleanliness by a variety of definitions.

Albertsons and Pinterest

Pinterest is piloting a collaboration with grocery retailer Albertsons Companies Inc. and data collaboration platform LiveRamp to pilot data “clean rooms” with select advertising partners on the Albertsons Media Collective retail media network. 

Pinterest's integration with LiveRamp will provide a protected, third-party digital space where Albertsons can combine its first-party data and Pinterest platform data in a secure environment, to help measure the results of digital ads placed on Pinterest via the grocer’s retail media network. 

The clean room software keeps data private and provides aggregated insight into ad performance. Because the neutral clean room environment offers privacy controls, neither party’s personally identifiable sales and campaign data is visible to the other party. 

As the digital marketing industry migrates away from collecting third-party cookies, Albertsons and Pinterest hope to offer the grocer’s advertisers an alternative tracking method. This Pinterest and Albertsons collaboration will be an ongoing initiative to deliver closed-loop reporting for brands that participate in the Albertsons Media Collective. 

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Evan Hovorka, Albertsons Media Collective]

Burger King

Burger King is transitioning employees it sends out in the field to assist local franchisees with a cleaner, more eco-friendly means of transportation. The fast food hamburger giant has moved 31% of its North American field team fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) across 16 states, with the goal of 100% EVs by 2030.

This shift is the next step in delivering on Restaurant Brands International’s (parent company of Burger King) science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, compared to a 2019 baseline.

The field team serves the first line of support for franchisees locally, living in various states across the U.S. and traveling to restaurants to provide one-to-one service. Field team members drive tens of thousands of miles each month as a result.

Burger King worked with Element Fleet Management, a pure-play automotive fleet manager, to source the EVs and launch the program.

Kum & Go

Kum & Go is deploying autonomous floor scrubbers across all of its more than 400 locations. The Iowa-based, family-owned convenience store chain, which operates across the Midwest and western parts of the country, is partnering with floor cleaning equipment and technology company Ice Cobotics to utilize Ice Cobotics Cobi 18 autonomous floor scrubbers. 

Cobi 18 robots are designed to clean 5,000 to 7,000 square feet of floorspace per hour and can be deployed multiple times per day to clean floors. The robots are designed for small spaces and to navigate tight aisles and around moving and stationary objects.

By leveraging autonomous Cobi 18 technology, Kum & Go seeks to free up associates from repetitive work and allows them to focus on keeping shelves and coolers fully stocked, providing fresh food offerings, and increasing engagement with in-store customers.

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