NCR and Albertson

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Albertson, the food and drug retailer, is blending the virtual and physical shopping worlds with the help of self-service and store automation solutions from NCR.

The first Albertsons.com Store and Fulfillment Site, which opened in November in Bellevue, Wash., is part of a new concept in full-service online grocery shopping. The store has been configured to serve shoppers who order their groceries online from www.Albertsons.com, offering those customers a location to pick up their purchases as an alternative to home delivery. For Albertson’s customers who prefer conventional in-store shopping, the store has a full selection of grocery items including premium produce, a full gourmet deli and fresh baked goods.

Offering even more options to their customers, Albertson’s has installed NCR web kiosks in the Reading Center of the store, where shoppers can place online orders for home delivery or for pickup at a later time. The kiosks also are used to demonstrate www.Albertsons.com to consumers who may not be familiar with Internet shopping.

In addition, the beverage section of the .com store has an NCR web kiosk that shoppers can use to learn more about their favorite wines, comparison shop, or even view recommendations on wines to complement a special meal.

At the front end, two lanes with self-checkout systems (also NCR) provide consumers who shop in the store the option to scan, bag and pay for their purchases without cashier assistance. Albertson’s shoppers who use the self-checkout can pay with credit cards, debit cards or cash. They can even use coupons and receive cash back from their transactions.

NCR technology also is at work in the .com store’s traditional checkout lanes. Helping Albertson’s provide shoppers with speedy and accurate checkout service are NCR scanners and NCR point-of-service (POS) workstations. The POS workstations include NCR DynaKey—the industry’s first "smart" operator interface, designed to shorten cashiers’ training time while improving productivity.

"Albertson’s aim is to use innovative technology that helps us build stronger relationships with all our customers, regardless of their shopping preferences," said Patrick Steele, Albertson’s executive vice president, Information Systems and Technology. "NCR’s self-service and ‘assisted-service’ solutions complement this objective. This, together with their in-depth industry knowledge and retail store support capabilities, made NCR the clear choice for our store automation solution needs."

In addition to the .com store in Bellevue, Albertson’s has installed NCR self-checkout lanes in its Aurora, Wash., store.

"‘Putting customers first’ has been Albertson’s guiding philosophy since Joe Albertson opened his first grocery store more than 60 years ago," said Ron Southard, NCR vice president for Food Store Solutions in the Americas. "This tradition is reflected in the Albertsons.com store concept, which is a technology showcase within the food and drug store industry. NCR’s solutions are helping assure that online and in-store shoppers alike receive the same great service they have come to expect from Albertson’s."

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