The Lempert Report
September 28, 2022

Phil: Let's talk about smart. Let's talk about Insta-Smart. So Instacart has come up with something new called the Caper Cart. Now this, they've been testing for a while. This is not a new concept. I wanna say 30 years ago, Kroger did it in King Supers in Denver. It's basically having a shopping cart that has a tablet mounted to it, where you can select foods. Really clever. It also has a keypad and a credit card reader right on the handle. So you can check out right there. It's interesting. And what I find interesting about this shopping cart is that it's 65%, it can hold 65% more products in the cart. So while the cart doesn't look bigger, it is bigger. So you can pile more things in. I remember when I did a segment on Oprah years ago, where we took three guests from the audience, we, we gave them each a hundred bucks. 

Phil: We took them to a warehouse club and we said, "what could you buy?". And two of the women, one I'll never forget. She was actually a Chicago police officer, got one of those huge flatbed trucks. And you know, her psyche is what can I fill that up with? So she actually bought a hundred rolls of toilet paper, so that her cart wouldn't look so empty. Then when we got back to the studio, Oprah said, bottom line is, what are you gonna do with a hundred rolls of toilet paper? And she said, well, yeah, I use toilet paper. And then I said, well, where are you gonna put it, in your garage? And she said, no, I live in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago. So what she ever did with those hundred rolls of toilet paper, I don't know. I don't know. But what do you think about this, this new shopping cart from Instacart it's it's in Publix? So it might be in a store near you soon it's in, in Wegmans. Uh it's in some shop rights. Would you use this? 

Sally: I think I would give it a try. And you know, what I also found interesting is that the other software, the software's parts of the software suite that Instacart is developing, has some really interesting tools in it. One, which I really liked where if you can't find something in the store, then somehow this uses technology to create a flash of light to where that product is in the aisle. And so I kind of like that idea because sometimes I find myself just wandering the aisles, constantly looking for something, but they are developing what's called connected stores. This full software suite of technology to help us with our shopping. Obviously they are competing and trying to keep up with Amazon and it looks like Bristol farms in Irvine, California yeah. Is gonna be the first to test out thiese connected stores. 

Phil: Yeah. I give Instacart a bunch of credit, but certainly they're moving away from their old model of, you know, get on their app, order groceries and bring it. I remember when I was at Instacart and interviewed them, oh probably about 7 or eight years ago. They had shared with me, this is the direction that they want to go. They wanted to move away from just delivery and be able to create a suite of services for retailers, because they felt that that was a stronger future. And I agree with them, than what they're doing now. So again, let's change the name of the company from Instacart to Insta-Smart.