Aeon to Launch New Online Supermarket with AI

Jiji Press
A delivery truck to be used for Aeon Co.’s Green Beans online supermarket service is seen in Tokyo on Tuesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese retail giant Aeon Co. has said it will launch a new online supermarket this summer that uses artificial intelligence to present customers with a list of recommended items based on their purchase records.

The more shoppers use the AI service, the more accurate the list of recommended items will become, according to the company.

“We’ll change the shopping [behavior] of all people who are busy working or raising children,” Aeon President Akio Yoshida told a news conference.

The Green Beans online supermarket will sell up to 50,000 items, including fresh vegetables and other food products, as well as daily necessities.

Customers will be able to choose a one-hour delivery time slot between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the day after they place orders, and will receive an e-mail notification just before the delivery arrives.

Delivery fees will range between ¥330 and ¥550, depending on the time and day of the week. Ordered products will be delivered by staff trained in customer service.

The Green Beans supermarket, separate from Aeon’s existing online supermarket, will cover part of Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Chiba and Kanagawa.

Aeon plans to later expand the service area to include all of Tokyo’s 23 wards and the Kinki western region.

The new AI-based service will use an integrated order-to-delivery system developed by Aeon’s British partner, Ocado Group.

A large warehouse dedicated to the new service has been set up in Chiba City. At the warehouse, a robot will collect more than 50 items in six minutes, while AI inventory management will prevent stocking problems.