My Pick at Euroshop 2020
The Euroshop is usually packed with many interesting concepts and innovations worth a little mention. However, I want to stick to a format of three concepts only for my regular column “My pick at…”. Besides, I described a few cool innovations in the previous article about this year’s event. And frankly, don’t forget that Euroshop is one of the must-see events on the retail calendar. So, you should have visited as well.
Anyway, here are the three concepts I deemed worthy to be mentioned.
Creative Cooling group
The Creative Cooling Group had actually big news to announce on the show. A total rebranding of its name and marketing. Dru International and the Finnish group they took over in 2017 never had a common marketing approach or branding created. Now this has changed and the group will go under the name Creative Cooling Group. The name change is also meant to reflect the fact that the group’s activities go beyond production as it also offers design, conceptualization, data analysis and more.
But next to the rebranding, I also noticed a cool concept, Happie Fridge (when I say “cool concept” I meant it was “cool” as in “interesting”, not because it was a fridge. Maybe I should get a thesaurus?).
Anyway, this solution is meant to be placed in canteens, cafeterias, and such. It’s an intelligent fridge and offers various possibilities: facial recognition, payment solutions, loyalty program, … all on a single point. The concept also tracks the expiration of products and tracks sales and stocks. Basically, imagine you have your lunch break. You go to the Happie fridge, which recognises you, detects what you pick up and charges your account or credit card only when you decide to close the fridge (and only if you took something out). It was a quite interesting to see a functional stand-alone cooling solution for foodservice. The technology exists today, but so far, I had rarely seen a working solution which is simply ready to use.
Toshiba is one of the many big players active in providing digital hardware and software solutions for POS. Their pavilion provided demos of their various products and services of course, and two concepts caught my eye: the frictionless story, and robots.
I already mentioned the frictionless story in my previous post about the show. It is the trend that translates the fact that shopping should be seamless for customers. It aims to reduce waiting times, and all frustrations about payments among other things. Obviously, Toshiba had various solutions for retailers to equip their checkout with different items (e.g. product recognition, contactless payments, and many more).
But there were also robots. The company Badger technologies (partnering with Toshiba it seems) was on the show to demonstrate their working robot doing two essential action in a store: hazardous situation detection and shelve compliance checks. Basically, it is like one of those vacuum robots you might have at home, with a base where it starts and comes back to recharge after completing its duties. The robot is equipped with cameras and travels the aisles of the store. With its cameras it checks the shelves and controls prices, out-of-stock situations, placements etc. It also notices hazardous situations (for example a puddle of water, a broken jar that fell on the floor…) and it signals them immediately to store employees so they come and deal with it. You might think that these robots will come and take over jobs and create unemployment, but I believe the opposite. Such a solution allows to create time so that employees can focus on other activities and also allocate more time to serve consumers.
Three years ago, at the previous Euroshop, I dedicated an article to the pavilion of Visplay as the vision presented back then was a great way of representing the different market trends and it integrated Visplay’s solutions very efficiently. This year, I noticed the company had again an interesting design for its booth. Once more, it helped to show their solutions in different areas (automotive, fashion, food, consumer electronics) and reflected market trends. Unlike three years ago, the different environments were not sharply separated as today’s retail borders are blurring a bit more each day.
Obviously, the structures that the company sells were fitted everywhere, but one item really caught my attention, the LED shelves.
As you probably know, the group offers in its range a solution of electrified structures for stores. Nowadays, many POS and retailers place various electric items on their shelves: cameras for counting customers, electronic labels, etc… Visplay’s electrified shelves help reduce the amount of wires, so the structures are more visually appealing and of course safer (nobody wants electric wires everywhere in their shop, right?). This year, Visplay had the idea to introduce shelves with a light switching on when plugged on the structure. It is a concept very simple to use and place. Anyone can just install, move or remodel according to the merchandising needs. When I saw those led shelves, I thought the solution does help create an atmosphere in a store. It’s is simply elegant, easy to install or manipulate, and simply genius in my opinion.
EuroshopEuroshop 2020VisplayToshibaCreative Cooling Group