Hy-Vee’s Auto-Sanitised Shopping Carts
American supermarket chain Hy-Vee is stepping up in the battle to combat consumers’ Covid-19 anxieties with the introduction of an automated cleaning system called Sterile Cart that decontaminates shopping carts following every use.
While grocery retailing is one of the only sectors to have grown during the pandemic, making gains of 26% in the US (Quartz, 2020), hygiene-related concerns regarding shopping in supermarkets is also rife; nearly 60% of Americans are worried about shopping in-store with 85% taking one or more precautions, including disinfecting their shopping carts (Supermarket News, 2020). As such, sanitation is a hot topic.
Reputedly the first supermarket chain to implement such a system chainwide, the Sterile Cart systems use a hospital-grade disinfectant (proven to kill 99.9% of germs) to clean one to two carts per second, consistently sanitising the entire cart – not just the handles and high-touch areas. The brand has said it’s aiming to install the system, which is made by Minnesota-based Izza Manufacturing, in more than 200 Hy-Vee branches in eight Midwestern states as early as mid-November.
The project builds on other Hy-Vee initiatives to banish Covid-19. In October, it rolled out free testing to more than 150 pharmacy locations, testing up to 12 patients per hour.
For more on how savvy grocery brands are capitalising on the boom in spending but with an eye on Covid-based health concerns, see two key sections – Light-Touch Connections: Unstaffed Stores and Auto Retailing and Omni-Supermarkets, Triaging, Networks & Navigation in, Supercharging the Supermarket.
Also look out for our upcoming report, Embracing the Eco-Supermarket, publishing on December 2.