UK Grocer Asda, Booze Giant Diageo Testing Endless Aisle-Style Screens To Increase Buyer Options In “Express” Stores

May 7, 2024 by Dave Haynes

There seemed to very much be a trend in retail towards small or thin ribbon displays to market product in store aisles, and not use up merchandising space, but then this popped up online about somewhat bigger screens in UK grocer Asda.

The big box grocer, which for a time was owned by Walmart, is working with booze products giant Diageo to test the operation and impact of extra-wide interactive LCD displays set at eye-level in 23 of the chain’s express stores – basically smaller, c store-ish groceries in more urban settings.

The Digital Spirits Display Screens take up a piece of premium merchandising space, set at eye level or as side units in the alcohol products aisle of the stores. They have touch screen overlays and integrated printers.

The screens ask for age confirmation (18 in UK) and then let the shopper sort through options, which I am thinking are limited to Diageo products. The printer kicks out a ticket with the selection(s), which is then processed at checkout after the age is verified.

Diageo has already put screens in at Asda Express stores in Hull, Birmingham, London, Surrey and Stoke on Trent.

I can’t find much about this other than what’s up above, but it appears part of thinking here is that the screen functions as an endless aisle/extended inventory unit, increasing the number of spirits options on display to 50, from 13 or 26. That would make sense, because these kinds of stores – if they’re anything like the Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury ones I’ve been through in London – are pretty tight, and shelf space very finite. I also think, but don’t totally know, that maybe booze is in a locked cabinet at check-out, hence the ticket? “Shrinkage” – a nicer retail term for theft – is an issue in the UK, across Europe and certainly in Canada and the U.S.

The top photo is a bit deceptive. A second photo taken from a few steps back shows the “bar-type” LCD is not actually all that big. Guessing it chews up about 24-36 inches of shelf space.

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