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Carrefour introduces smart lighting to beam offers down to shoppers’ phones

Thu 21 May 2015

Carrefour, one of the world’s largest retail chains has today announced a partnership with Philips to install smart lights in its stores which track shoppers and beam down information and pop-up deals to their smartphones.

Philips, a market leader in lighting and electronics, said today that the French retail giant had become the first supermarket to agree to trial the smart lighting system. A total of 800 lights, measuring over 1.6 miles, have been installed in one of Carrefour’s largest national stores, a newly-refurbished hypermarket in Lille, northern France.

From today, shoppers wanting to take advantage of the digital offers and in-store navigation will need to download a Carrefour iOS app to their mobile device and ‘opt in.’

The lights will use Philips Visible Light Communication LED technology to transmit data via pulses of light undetectable to the human eye but readable by smartphone cameras.

As a shopper passes beneath one of the smart lights, the app will be able to relay information such as product details and prices, as well as displaying any promotions available in a specific aisle and help direct customers to their shopping list items across the 84,000 sq.ft shop-floor.

“The focus we made is to specify and localise promotions for people […] The main benefit for our customers is that they can prepare a shopping list and when they arrive in the store the app can localise all of the products they have chosen,” explained Celine Martin, business models and innovation manager at Carrefour hypermarkets, France.

According to Philips the new system will help the international retailer reduce its stores’ electricity usage by a forecasted 50%.

In addition to the benefits for Carrefour customers, Philips plans to use the LED fixtures to feedback data into a cloud-based location database and software development kit. The kit would be available to the company’s customers interested in building on the location data to design other tailored apps.

Neither Philips nor Carrefour provided details on the costs involved in the deal.

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