Four grocery retail giants are currently working together to find innovations in the field of retail technology with their Disrupt Retail initiative. Disrupt Retail was first launched in 2017 by Portuguese grocery retail market leader MC Sonae, which owns the Continente distribution lines, as a call for technology start-ups.
MC Sonae is now looking for technology innovations together with Edeka Digital, the IT division of the German market leader Edeka Group, Polish convenience market leader Żabka and the largest supermarket operator in Israel, Shufersal. The joint initiative is aimed not only at start-ups, but also at technology companies in general. The four retail giants, which according to their own figures have a combined turnover of around 80 billion euros and operate around 22,000 stores, are predominantly relevant in their home markets and have virtually no overlapping sales territories.
Until 4 February, technology companies can still apply to Disrupt Retail with all kinds of solutions that will drive retail forward. This is expressly not a start-up competition and no prize will be awarded. Rather, technology providers can draw attention to their solutions in order to be allowed to carry out a proof-of-concept or pilot application with one or more of the retail companies.
Store operation a focal point
The retail companies list Store Operations, Retail Media and Data & Customer Insights as the main focus of what they are looking for. Technology companies should apply via the Disrupt Retail website.
Christoph Diekmeyer, CEO of Edeka Digital explains: “At Edeka Digital, our approach is to develop IT solutions that create exceptional experiences for our customers. We are keen to connect with partners from around the world to address challenges with cutting-edge technology. By participating in ‘Disrupt Retail’, we are confident to find innovative solutions and co-creation partners to shape the future of retail.”
Vusion Group, Shopic, AiFi and Automaise as best practices
Disrupt Retail explicitly mentions the success of Edeka shopowners in combating shelf gaps with the camera-based Captana solution from the Vusion Group (formerly: SES Imagotag) as case studies – as reported by The Retail Optimiser. The smart shopping trolley devices from Shopic at Shufersal, Żabka’s scanless stores with AiFi technology and the use of generative AI for MC’s customer service with Automaise are also presented in detail as best practice.