Customers Are Outraged Because Of A Big Change At Walgreens
In the digital age, the shopping experience has changed, and some retailers are looking for unique ways to keep up with those changes. For example, while CVS is closing stores and rethinking the function of the remaining locations, competitor Walgreens is more focused on bringing a digital experience inside their physical locations.
Earlier this year, some Walgreens locations made a major change to their refrigerator and freezer doors. Instead of glass doors where you can easily see what products are in stock, these stores have switched to opaque doors that are supposed to display what products are inside on a digital screen that takes up the entire door. We say “supposed to” because despite the cameras and sensors inside the doors, the information displayed on the screen is not always 100% accurate.
You might be wondering why a retailer would switch out glass doors for doors featuring digital screens when both can show what is inside, but these screens offer more than just a peek in the refrigerator section of the store. They also allow advertisers to promote their products to consumers, such as full door ads recommending ice-cream on a hot day. In addition, they allow brands to provide information like sales and nutrition information without extra signs and without a consumer opening the door to look at the product’s label.
Watch the video below for a preview of what the doors look like and how they’re supposed to work.
These digital doors are created by a company called Cooler Screens. According to the company, 90% of consumers prefer the digital doors over traditional glass doors. The company website explains, “Consumers can now instantly and easily access the most applicable and up-to-date information, offerings, and promotions—just like when they are online. As a result, Cooler Screens not only modernizes the in-store shopping experience, it also improves information access, relevance, and transparency.”
Despite the company’s claims, not everyone likes the digital doors. Many consumers have shared negative feedback and even videos of their experiences on social media.
Some consumers simply don’t like the digital experience and advertising inside a retail store. Other consumers are frustrated by the fact that sometimes the digital doors lead you to believe that the products are fully stocked, but once the door is opened, most products are actually completely sold out.
The digital cooler screens at Walgreens made me watch an ad before it allowed me to know which door held the frozen pizzas
— Elwood Blues (@ElwoodBluesClue) December 31, 2021
@Walgreens NOBODY needs TV screen replacing doors in your cooler aisles…. Stop.
— IamBucket (@iambucketdotcom) November 18, 2021
The stupid cooler screens make me not want to shop there anymore. Annoying confusing I don’t want advertisement in my face constantly
— Simone (@Simone64431199) March 13, 2022
Cooler Screens co-founder and CEO Arsen Avakian told CNN Business, “When there’s a new technology, right, consumers are always suspicious, so I expect that.” He added, “It’s very important for a new company like ours to always educate the consumers about what it really does and what it doesn’t do.”
Have you seen Cooler Screens in your local Walgreens? If so, do you find them annoying, or do you think they’re beneficial?