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Brief Published: 4 Jun 2012

Peapod Digital Supermarket, Chicago


Commuters in Chicago can now shop for groceries while waiting for their trains at a new virtual supermarket in the Chicago Transit Authority’s State/Lake station.

The supermarket, called Peapod, incorporates several full-length screens showing conventionally styled grocery shelves – a notable design feature, aimed at ensuring the tech-rooted scheme doesn’t alienate more traditional consumers. A corresponding app – Peapod Mobile, available for the iPhone, iPad and Kindle – allows travellers to scan the groceries they wish to purchase in what would have otherwise been dead time.

The app allows users to sort items, view past purchases, browse hundreds of weekly specials and schedule home deliveries. It also promises to deliver goods to users’ doors within hours.

Perfect for time-poor consumers, stop-and-shop spaces that use m-commerce in high traffic areas are growing in popularity. Peapod opened a similar virtual market in a Philadelphia train station earlier this year, while British supermarket chain Tesco launched a series of QR-code-enabled virtual stores at subway stations across Seoul, South Korea.

And supermarkets aren’t the only retailers getting in on the act. The US edition of women’s fashion magazine Glamour also trialled the Glamour Apothecary – a shoppable pop-up wall of beauty products in New York’s Meatpacking District. Consumers accessed the products via a series of logo-style barcodes known as Snaptags. 


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