Moscow, 10 October 2018 – X5 Retail Group (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE and MOEX ticker: FIVE), has launched a lab store in order to fast-track testing of new technologies.
Located in Moscow’s Central administrative district, the lab shares a building with a Pyaterochka store. “We have created a lab store to search for the best technical solutions in a quick and effective way. It is equipped with everything necessary for lab engineers to take innovations from shed to shelf right then and there. The actual store serves as a platform for checking new technologies’ compatibility with the IT landscape of X5 and assessing customer experience. This is very important because we place customer convenience above all else. If a technology works out in the lab, it easily moves on for pilot testing, which is the next step in evaluating new solutions,” said Fabricio Granja, X5 Retail Group’s Chief Information Officer.
Right now, engineers are conducting in-store trials of electronic shelf labelling, video analytics, smart shelves and digital information panels, as well as self-scanning and self-checkout scenarios.
Once tested in the lab store, the new technologies will be piloted in Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel stores, which is when X5 experts will assess their viability and their impact on sales and costs. Based on the outcome of the pilot stage, a decision will be made about whether to roll out a new technology to the rest of a retail format’s stores.
“There are currently over 500 start-ups going through assessment and preliminary review in X5’s innovation pipeline. Most new technologies need to be checked for proper performance and compatibility with our IT landscape. The lab store makes it possible to quickly arrange a trial for any new concept, which will boost the number of tests and speed up the flow of ideas through the pipeline,” said Vadim Kapustin, X5’s Strategic Marketing and Planning Director, at the opening of the lab.