Opening Soon: A Cool Grocery in BGC With the Best of Physical and Digital Worlds

A.K.A. the country's first "phygital" store.

(SPOT.ph) We all shop at the supermarket to buy ingredients, pantry items, snacks, and the like to keep us fueled throughout the week—and though this is a traditionally physical affair that entails stepping out of the house to visit your local grocery store, with the ongoing pandemic, there's also been the rise of its digital counterpart. Both have their pros; with physical groceries, you get to pick out exactly which items to go for (an especially useful aspect with fresh produce), plus it's fun taking your time to browse through the aisles and check out what cool finds there might be on the shelves. With online groceries, it's uber-convenient as you can do almost everything on your laptop or phone and get your orders delivered right to your doorstep. One upcoming shop aims to bring you the best of both worlds with a "phygital" store, touted as the first of its kind in the Philippines. Check out the COOP.

COOP Fresh in BGC
This soon-to-open grocery melds the best of physical and digital worlds. 
PHOTO BY COOP Fresh
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Here's the deal on the upcoming COOP Fresh phygital shop:

As a phygital store—meaning physical plus digital—COOP's upcoming shop melds the experience of going out to a physical grocery with the ease and convenience of online shopping. It opens in Bonifacio Global City in January 2022.

So, "What makes it 'Phygital?'" you ask. Well, it's got aisles and shelves like any physical supermarket, and you can go ahead and browse through and put your desired items into your grocery cart—but you won't find any cashiers or cash registers. Instead of having to line up (yawn) to pay for your items, you can just approach any of their staff to have your items scanned with their phone and it then shoots the bill straight to your COOP Fresh account. You can then pay with a couple of taps on your phone like you would any website.

"It is a melding of both the physical world—the store you experience walking in; and the digital world—the contact-free convenience of sitting at home tapping on your phone," explains COOP Fresh's Eman Pineda in an exchange with SPOT.ph. 

Meanwhile, you can check out the COOP Fresh online—they've got a cool website and app with a cool minimalist interface and more importantly, a huge selection of eats and grocery items across different food categories and price ranges. You'll find everything from more affordable items like galunggong, kangkong, local instant noodles, and classic Pinoy junk food for everyday eating; to more high-end items like kale, wild-caught salmon, Harlan + Holden Coffee, Grom gelato, and even Eric Kayser croissants for when you feel like treating yourself.

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Coop Grocer app
COOP's known for their easy-to-use app and website with a wide range of eats and grocery items.  
PHOTO BY COOP Grocer

COOP also prides themselves in having a real-time inventory—i.e., the inventory you see online is the actual inventory at hand at their fulfilment center. Plus they hold all their own inventory, meaning that "we don’t aggregate stocks from other retailers," Pineda says. "We use one fulfilment center for the whole Metro Manila so we can give the full assortment to the whole Metro, and we can implement the strictest quality control guidelines." That also means the quantity of the item you see on the website is accurate—say goodbye to days of the shopper calling you to inform you the item you ordered turns out to be out of stock.

Here's another cool tidbit: COOP's also got a special algorithm that allows them to predict demand—ergo, preventing spoilage and food waste. "The algorithm-based and technology of COOP forecasts demand based on a set of more than 15 data points, ranging from looking at sales, to looking at spoilage rates, to looking at optimized delivery schedules," says Pineda. "It also gives a better forecast to the direct to farmers supply chain. All of which reduces cost and this cost savings are passed on to the customer."

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For more information, check out COOP Fresh's website or Facebook page.

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