Esselunga Unveils Innovative Retail Lab in Milan

By Branislav Pekic
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Esselunga Unveils Innovative Retail Lab in Milan

Italian supermarket chain Esselunga has opened EsselungaLab, a testing ground for new retail concepts, processes and tools.

Located in the Mind Milano Innovation District, the innovative space sits on repurposed buildings from Expo 2015.

EsselungaLab serves as a hub for exploring cutting-edge services, technologies, communication methods, materials, and even furniture solutions that cater to evolving customer needs. It offers the experience of an essential market, cafeteria, and express catering.

EsselungaLab is spread over two floors and covers an area of approximately 600 square metres.

A 70-square-metre grab-and-go section provides access to everyday essentials like prepared meals, fresh produce, packaged meats, and pastries.


In the cafeteria, visitors can 'relax and enjoy' a beverage or light bite with indoor and outdoor seating for 100 guests.

Other Features

The first floor features an open kitchen, a salad island with a robotic assistant, and transparent OLED screens, offering a wide selection of freshly prepared meals, including plant-based options and healthy choices. Seating expands to 130 with the addition of a terrace lounge area.

The market area offers a glimpse into the future of shopping with an innovative system that integrates computer vision and intelligent sensors. After picking up their desired items, consumers proceed to the self-checkout, where they will find a complete, automatically generated list of their selections waiting for them.

Developed in collaboration with 'Design for all Italia,' EsselungaLab prioritises inclusivity with features like child-friendly handrails and easy-to-use digital payment kiosks.


It also promotes eco-friendly choices like recycled/recyclable furniture, solar panels for power generation, and minimal plastic use.

EsselungaLab operates as a cashless environment, accepting only digital payments.

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