Aramark, Sportservice trying out venue lockers for delivery of merch, food to fans
Two sports concessionaires are testing a new self-serve technology that allows customers to order merchandise, food and drink to be picked up at lockers installed in the venue.
Aramark and Delaware North Sportservice are using systems produced by Apex Supply Chain Technologies at Wells Fargo Center and Great American Ball Park, respectively.
|Online merchandise orders can be collected at lockers.
The technology enables fans to order merchandise online for pickup at one of 11 lockers placed in front of the team store on the main concourse. After placing the order and selecting the “locker pickup” option, the customer receives an email notification with a bar code informing them that their order is ready. They have the option of printing the notification from home or use the bar code on their mobile device, which is scanned at an electronic reader at the lockers. Those without smartphones input a number code provided in the email on a keypad at the lockers.
The locker containing the merchandise automatically pops open after the bar code is scanned or number code input. Closing the locker after the items are removed alerts the vendor that the transaction is complete, said Ryan Costa, Aramark’s retail division manager at Wells Fargo Center.
As part of the test process and to ensure the system works as intended, Aramark cuts off orders for locker pickup at 6 p.m. on game days for the Flyers and Sixers to ensure all orders are filled on time, Costa said.
The technology provides a convenience for fans who don’t want to wait in line to buy merchandise at the team store, he said. As of last week, Aramark had activated the service for one Flyers game with four pickups at lockers. One father with three young children in tow told Aramark the lockers worked well for him instead of having his kids run around the team store while he shopped, Costa said.
For Comcast Spectacor, it’s another method for competing in the retail space, said John Page, president of Wells Fargo Center. That’s important, considering the building takes the risk for buying all merchandise available in-arena, compared with other markets where the vendor has that responsibility, Page said.
In Cincinnati, starting this season, Delaware North will use Apex’s locker pickup system at two concession stands along the third-base line on the main concourse for food and drink purchases. The technology flows through MLB Advanced Media’s Ballpark app, Apex spokesman Kevin Dugan said.
Ohio-based Apex is a 10-year-old firm that got its start in the industrial space. The company has installed 100,000 lockers worldwide, but the Flyers/Sixers and Reds are its first sports applications, Dugan said.