MOBILE, Ala.—COVID-19 has created an environment of innovation, activating the food industry around the world to search for new ways to deliver food, beverages and snacks to customers where they live and work. Large grocery store chains, farmers markets, municipalities and entrepreneurs alike are searching for new business models that can safely deliver food products to their customers’ neighborhoods and job sites.
Alabama-based VendaMarts is reportedly working with two companies who aim to launch mobile convenience stores, RetailWire reports. One company plans to rotate the mobile unit through various neighborhoods, while the other is looking to park the unit in a neighborhood.
“VendaMarts mobile robotic micro markets deliver goods and convenience,” said Annette Nolan, CEO Carts Blanche LLC, in a press release. “Our mobile mini markets offer a fully automated inventory of pre-packaged fresh foods. Fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, butter, breads, drinks, snack items, frozen foods, meals and first aid products can be delivered to neighborhoods, rural areas or housing and business complexes in your city.”
Nolan told RetailWire that the company hasn’t inked deals with full grocery stores, but intends to pursue partnerships.
The 26-foot VendaMarts hold 10 automated machines, creating 10 self-serve lines and up to 34 revenue streams packaged within 208 square feet. VendaMarts can also be operated in an unattended environment.
“The universal design of VendaMarts trailers combines mobility, automation and technology under one roof, delivering the only turn-key mobile mini mart in the marketplace,” Nolan said. “Our self-serve mobile businesses are intuitively designed and heavy duty built with a combination of four industries under one roof giving the owner the greatest opportunity for exponential profits within a very small footprint.”
The interchangeable design allows for any combination of vending machines, ATMs, digital signage, TVs and microwaves. Remote management of trailers and machines creates a total solution that redefines the automated retail industry.
Carts Blanche isn’t the only company working on mobile stores. Last summer, Kroger debuted its Zero Hunger Mobile Market, which it said is a “single-aisle grocery store on wheels,” Retail Wire reports. The 50-foot mobile unit stocks nearly 200 products. Kroger launched the mobile market in Louisville, Ky., in partnership with a local food bank.