Sonae Invests Over €100 Million In Retail Innovation
Portuguese retailer Sonae has announced that it has surpassed €100 million in investments related to innovation, research, and development.
The group has maintained its strategic focus for 2018 and has so far developed more than 1,000 projects to contribute to improving people's lives and consolidating its top position in the retail sector.
Open Innovation Network
According to the Retail Innovation Book 2018, Sonae’s open innovation network consists of 429 partners in 34 countries in four continents.
In the last two years, its number of partners has grown by more than 20%, including universities, R&D centres, companies, startups, incubators and accelerators, suppliers and institutions from different areas.
The implementation of innovative technologies has enabled the retailer to boost sustainability, increase sales, cut costs, and save time in various processes.
Several innovations listed in the Retail Innovation Book 2018 have used technology as a facilitator of business processes.
The 'Feedback do Cliente' app, developed by Sonae sports and fashion, facilitates the collection of customer feedback by store managers, in a structured and more effective way, and the information is incorporated into the development of products.
The Smart Continente app has revolutionised the online shopping process by allowing customers to shop using voice, bar code reading or text input, with the help of a virtual shopping assistant that uses AI to offer personalised results.
Research And Development Projects
Its research and development projects include Blockchain Everis, a partnership with Everis that tests the application of blockchain technology to increase the efficiency of traceability tools used to control processes along the supply chain of fresh food products.
Eco X is an environmental value project to develop new ways of using surplus food and residues, particularly those derived from meat fats, to fight food waste.
Sonae is also working with Voltair on an Internet of Kinetic Things (IoKT) project to develop a platform with wireless communication for real-time kinematic measurement of the logistics retail chain.
Paciec is a co-development project with Axians that aims to transform the shopping experience by implementing anonymous emotion recognition technology for better customer service.
The retail giant has also launched the Continente Producers Club Academy - a training programme for boosting the competitiveness of Portuguese agri-food producers.
The projects 'Veggie Burgers' by Campotec and a special 'Oeste's Rocha Pear' by Frutalvor were the winners of this year's edition of the programme.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.