This solution claims to improve customer service, maximise convenience, increase product choice and cut queuing times – all while lowering costs for the vendor
Picture the scene. You’re on your way home when you remember the fridge is empty but you don’t have a pound for the trolley and parking is a nightmare. Or you promised to pick up a six-pack of beer en route to a friend’s party but it’s pouring with rain and parking is still a nightmare.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick up a few essentials without getting out of your car?
Russian inventor Semenov Dahir Kurmanbievich filed a patent for a drive-through supermarket that would make all that possible.
Watch how it works here
A customer would drive up to an available bay, much like in a petrol station, and – while remaining in the car – select the items from a column that has vertically rotating shelves operated with a button. These are placed immediately onto a conveyor belt, where they travel a few feet to the checkout . When finished, the customer drives forward, pays the cashier and drives off with dinner.
Staff stack goods onto a system of conveyor belts that feeds the columns.
In his patent application, Mr Kurmanbievich said the invention is directed at “solving the technical problem of improving the quality of customer service while providing maximum convenience and choice of products, reducing time to service customers, cutting the queue time and lowering the time and costs from commercial enterprises associated with the filing and layout of goods in the sales area where there are buyers”.
So-called drive-through supermarkets have already been trialled by retail giants Walmart and Amazon, but these operate more like click-and-collect services as customers have to order their goods online between two hours and three weeks in advance.
The supermarket sector has seen significant upheaval recently, with stalwarts such as Tesco losing market share to discount grocers and traditional retailers struggling in the face of internet shopping and other technological innovations.
While the drive-through supermarket would need a lot of space and infrastructure investment to get off the ground, it would combine the consumer’s convenience and speed of buying groceries online with the vendor’s sales opportunities that come with product discovery on store shelves.
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This article was written by Lauren Davidson from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.