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Kroger turns coolers into digital ad space with ‘smart screens’

Cooler Screens shopper
A shopper using a digitally-enhanced Cooler Screens cooler door.

The Kroger Co. is digitally engaging in-store shoppers as they make chilled product selections.

America’s largest grocery retailer is following up on a successful three-year pilot of the Cooler Screens proprietary, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled, in-store digital “smart screens” solution by rolling out the technology in 500 Kroger stores across the U.S.

The solution enables CPG brands to engage Kroger shoppers in the store with dynamic, contextually relevant promotions and product information. Cooler Screens technology provides a real-time digital door display of the contents of an in-store cooler, along with superimposed retail media and merchandising content. 

According to Cooler Screens, its advertising platform reaches more than 90 million viewers monthly in stores across multiple retailers and is projected to reach more than 200 million per month by early 2024. 

“We’re excited about this continued collaboration as it extends our vision for the future of retail media, offering brands another powerful marketing lever inside the store,” said Cara Pratt, senior VP at Kroger Precision Marketing. “Cooler Screens shares and further enables this vision by bringing the best of digital experiences directly into our retail stores while integrating with our 84.51°  data science platform to create an engaging and valuable experience for our customers, associates, and brands.” 

[Read more: CSA Exclusive: Kroger Precision Marketing connects brands to shoppers]

“We’re humbled to expand our strategic alignment with Kroger, which is a pioneer in retail media and second-to-none in the use of consumer insights,” said Cooler Screens CEO and founder Arsen Avakian. “And like Kroger, we use consumer insights to create a triple win for consumers, brands, and the retailer.” 

Giant Eagle banner deploys Cooler Screens

Food-focused convenience store chain GetGo Café & Market, a banner of regional supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, is also partnering with Cooler Screens to replace traditional cooler aisle doors in select stores with digital smart screens. Seeking to transform its in-store shopping environment, GetGo’s primary objectives are to improve the consumer experience, increase same-store sales, and bring innovation and a modern feel to its stores.

Initial results included4.9% incremental same-store sales lift for beverages and 4.4% growth in beverage transactions in digitally-enabled stores compared to non-digital stores. In addition, real-time out–of-stock reporting allowed GetGo to monitor out-of-stocks at a brand and store level. Insights from out-of-stock data identified a peak-period supply issue that GetGo was able to address with the supplier.

Based in Cincinnati, Kroger operates 2,800 stores, including more than 100 stores in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, under a variety of banners across the U.S., including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC, City Market, Owen's, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker's, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Pick 'n Save, Metro Market, and Mariano's.

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