US Grocer Giant Kroger Working With NVIDIA On AI Lab To Reinvent Shopping Experiences

April 1, 2022 by Dave Haynes

This is no overt tie to digital signage in retail, but the implications of a partnership between US grocer giant Kroger and the tech firm Nvidia are interesting. They are collaborating on what is described as a “state-of-the-art AI lab and demonstration center” intend to help reinvent the supermarket shopping experience.

The largest grocer in the US and NVIDIA say in PR the center will expand Kroger’s freshness initiatives, improve shipping logistics and create a better shopping experience in stores through digital twin simulations — virtual models designed to accurately reflect store layouts and other operations.

“Our collaboration with NVIDIA supports Kroger’s ‘Fresh for Everyone’ commitment,” says Wesley Rhodes, VP Technology Transformation & Research and Development at Kroger. “We look forward to learning more about how AI and data analytics will further our journey to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”

The lab will be located in Kroger’s Cincinnati-based headquarters office. It will use the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software suite for retail, NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise to build digital twin simulations and NVIDIA cuOpt to explore logistics optimizations. The initial installation will use nine NVIDIA DGX A100 systemsNVIDIA InfiniBand networking and NVIDIA RTX  workstations to gather actionable insights on the grocer’s nearly 2,800 stores across the United States.

“NVIDIA and Kroger’s collaboration on AI and digital twins will further expand Kroger’s digital technology leadership,” says Azita Martin, vice president and general manager of Retail at NVIDIA. “Kroger already is delivering excellent customer experiences in stores and providing fast home delivery. With NVIDIA AI, shoppers gain more personalized experiences in physical stores and online.”

The companies will explore how NVIDIA technology can:

This is interesting in the context of digital signage in grocery because of the term “actionable insights” – the ability to understand and adjust to shopper behaviors, patterns, interests and actions, as well as what’s happening with things like staffing levels and positions, and stock levels. It’s the whole idea of smarter stores and how screens make it possible to make messaging variable and dynamic though a store’s day.

If you are wondering why a company best known for graphics for gamers is involved at this high level in AI work, the company’s pedigree is in very high quality graphics processing for computers – the stuff that gets pushed to displays – but deep learning (and crypto activities) rely heavily on the speed and efficiencies of GPUs instead of CPUs.


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