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SPAR Austria store shows digital leadership

April 7, 2016 IN THE CATEGORY: All News

A SPAR store on Vienna University’s Economics campus has recently been transformed into a Digital Leadership Store, with the aim of offering customers a fast, timesaving shopping experience. The innovative technologies being put to use, mark a new era of shopping in Austria, setting the stage for the SPAR store of the future.

The SPAR Austria Digital Innovation Forum, consisting of employees from the IT, Distribution, Store Design, Process Management and Marketing Departments, regularly assesses up and coming retail innovations. Working in cooperation with the Institute of Trade and Marketing at the Vienna University of Economics, the Forum strives to drive technical innovations in the retail industry. Some of the results of the research conducted with the university are currently being tested in the SPAR Digital Leadership store at the Vienna University of Economics. With its new technologically advanced store, SPAR Austria once again proves its pioneering role in the Austrian food trade.

Lunch orders in record time with the SPAR App

As the store’s customer base mainly consists of students, the focus has been placed on an extensive snack and convenience range. “After lecture time there were often long queues of students at the fresh counter and in the checkout area,” said Alois Huber, SPAR Managing Director for Eastern Austria. “We are therefore particularly proud of our latest innovation – the SPAR Snack Away App.” With this app, users can create a sandwich of their choosing while sitting in the lecture theatre and can pick it up later in the store. Customers can choose from a large range of ingredients. Juices, fruits and other snacks can also be ordered with the app. “It is our goal to offer our customers a fast and convenient shopping experience,” said Huber.

Checkout in five seconds

SPAR Austria introduced self-checkouts some years ago now. There are currently self-checkouts installed in 23 stores throughout the country and between 25 and 45 per cent of customers make use of them. SPAR Austria is now testing cashless self-checkouts in three stores in Vienna and Graz. The new checkouts save space instore and allow payment with cash cards, credit cards and the SPAR Gift Card. The aim is ultimately to save time. If customers use contactless payment at the self-checkout, the entire payment transaction takes just five seconds.

Electronic shelf labels

Umdasch Shopfitting has developed a new generation of electronic price labels exclusively for SPAR. The technology used, called ESL.inclusive, operates in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, using just a single battery. The functional technology is a first in the Austrian food trade.

Modern retail demands new innovations

“We are constantly in search of innovative ideas and pioneering technologies to boost our trade,” said Managing Director of SPAR Austria, Mr Hans K. Reisch. “The cooperation between the SPAR Digital Innovation Forum, the Vienna University of Economics and our many external partners such as Umdasch Shopfitting, has allowed us to create a unique and modern shopping experience for our customers. It is essential to test these innovations and we are pleased with the results achieved so far in our Digital Leadership store at the University of Vienna.”