Maxima – World’s First to Embrace Artificial Intelligence in Grocery Retail

  • 2020-01-08
  • TBT Staff

Maxima is the world’s first grocery retailer implementing unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, aimed at improving work efficiency and the customer shopping experience, streamlining operations and reducing costs of running its stores, and balancing employee workloads. Shelf stocking and checkout lines are already being managed by Artificial Intelligence solutions in larger Maxima stores.

“Maxima is growing faster than the market on average, and Artifical Intelligence (AI) helps us to operationally keep in line with that growth. We have piloted AI to streamline our operations and improve customer experience in our flagship store, but, clearly, we have not yet reached its full potential – we believe AI can further alleviate workloads, drastically improve efficiency and thus enable further price reductions in our stores,” explains Maxima Latvija Board Member Jānis Vanags.

The Artificial Intelligence solution is piloted by Maxima chain in Latvia to ensure that customers’ favourite products, such as dairy products, meat and beverages, are readily available. The process is enabled by the AI employing hi-res video cameras to analyse product availability and triggering operational commands, executed by both systems and people in synergy.

An identical approach is used at checkouts: if a higher than average amount of people are waiting at the checkouts, the store manager receives this information via tablet and effectively organises workloads to open another cash register for faster customer service.

Up until now, Maxima has introduced a range of new and digital innovations to stores which improve shopping experience for its customers and alleviate workloads of its people. Customers have appreciated self-service checkouts throughout Latvia for more than 10 years now. The stores have also been installed with a digitised system for the automatic monitoring of product sell-by dates, which helps staff to identify the groceries nearing their sell-by date more quickly, thus reducing food waste. Similarly, the Maxima XXX store in the Akropole shopping centre was the first in the Baltics to introduce electronic price labels on several thousand products, making work easier for employees and providing buyers with transparent, up-to-date and precise information.