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Dutch concept store Albert Heijn XL uses beacons to enhance customer service

Eindhoven Feb. 11, 2015
Last week The Netherlands largest grocery store chain introduced iBeacon technology to help customers get better service faster in their flagship concept store of the future.
Dutch Internet of Things (IoT) solution provider Glimworm Beacons, Albert Heijn and app builders DT worked together to create new iBeacon enabled technology which makes it possible to accurately track the location of eight employees or ‘guides” equipped with iPods. As a customer uses iPads available in a coffee corner to browse information about products in the store or available online via they can push a button for assistance. Instantly the beacons “find” the nearest iPod and sends a request to that specific employee to report to the coffee corner. If the request is accepted a photo of the employee is displayed on the iPad along with a “progress bar” showing the distance of the approaching helper. When the employee arrives the iPad displays a message indicating that “Your guide has arrived.”.

I love the fact they our beacons are part of a great customer service experience and are being used so innovatively. This is a first in the Netherlands and maybe in the world

Jonathan Carter, Co-founder Glimworm Beacons

Part of an initiative to enhance customer service through the use of digital technology this iBeacon enabled indoor positioning and notification feature is one of a few interesting ideas being tested in the new concept store Albert Heijn XL which opened to the public last week. Other customer experience enhancing technologies include self scanning products with your own Smartphone, and you can also order anything in the store or on from their phone or one of the iPads provided for home delivery or pick-up. The Appie App has also been enhanced to enable self checkout and contactless payment.

We have really accomplished something by working so closely with Albert Heijn to create this new technology with beacons. Now indoor mapping and tracking with beacons is not just a hit and miss game but a very accurate, powerful effective tool.

Paul Manwaring, Co-founder Glimworm Beacons


Albert Heijn joins the likes of other supermarkets and retailers around the world such as Tesco, Waitrose and Kenneth Cole in the UK; Walmart, Safeway and Macys in the US and De Bijenkorf (The Beehive) in the Netherlands by installing beacons to create more compelling, customized shopping experiences. In an interview with Dutch E-commerce and Marketing trend magazine Emerce Albert Heijn spokeswoman Els van Dijk said that “If successful, there is a chance that we are going to introduce it in other stores,”.

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