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Food shopping gets a dash of innovation


With 7 million members, 55,000 employees, nearly 1,500 stores and revenues of €13.1 billion, Coop Italia is Italy’s largest supermarket chain—the biggest Italian retailer based on a system of Italian consumers' cooperatives.


To showcase its commitment to providing the very best shopping experience for its members, Coop Italia wanted to create a welcoming and informative retail environment using advanced digital technologies. In just six months, the retailer did just that. Unveiling the Supermarket of the Future at Expo Milano 2015.


Digital and the Internet of Things are changing the way customers shop for groceries. As Coop Italia’s innovation partner, Accenture set out to help the retail giant connect with this new generation of internet-savvy shoppers—fueled by new technologies and devices.

Accenture helped the supermarket rethink its information architecture, implement IT infrastructure, and analyze and develop point-of-sale touch points. From the overall store layout to specific product placement on individual shelves, no detail was too small in creating a journey towards more conscious and informed shopping.

To implement this groundbreaking plan, Accenture collaborated with Avanade, a joint-venture company between Accenture and Microsoft. Using a Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform as its technological foundation, Accenture and Avanade delivered a solid, modular and flexible solution that can be easily scaled to a large number of stores.


Coop Italia and Accenture had to strike the right balance in using technology to enhance the overall experience, not hinder it. Every decision was based on key consumer insights, resulting in a design that provided shoppers with the tools and information to make their experience as convenient and personalized as possible.

Interactive display tables, redesigned vertical shelving and real-time data visualization throughout the store complemented each other to create an innovative, holistic experience.

Interactive Tables

Products are exhibited in the supermarket on large interactive tables where a simple movement of the hand shows augmented information about the product on a monitor, including its origins, nutritional facts, the presence of allergens, waste disposal instructions, correlated products and promotions. This augmented experience is made possible by Kinect sensors that use body detection to interpret the customer’s gestures.

Vertical Shelving

In the new store the traditional layout of the shelving has been rethought and associated with a touch application, which enables the customer to navigate through the product categories, to filter and search for most suitable products, discover promotions, view detailed product information. The result is an augmented label that gives the customer deeper insight into the product they are purchasing.

Real-Time Data Visualization

During the journey through the store, customers can take a look at a large real-time data visualization screen showing content including: Coop’s brand values, special daily offerings and cooking suggestions, social media information like posts on Coop’s FB account, top selling products and promotions for each category, facilitating an additional interaction point with the shoppers.

"At Expo Milano 2015, Accenture helped us to make our vision a reality. Using its digital expertise, Accenture has helped us redesign the grocery shopping experience."

President of Coop Italia


Building on the success at Expo Milano 2015, Accenture and Coop Italia continued to work together to bring the concept into a real-world. On December 6, 2016, Coop’s first Future Store opened for business in Milan, Italy.
The new flagship store combines physical and digital, bringing together the atmosphere of local open-air markets with innovative digital solutions. All under one roof. Customers can enjoy a grocery shopping on a whole new level through a digital journey that satisfies their demand for information, engagement and functionality in a simple and intuitive way.