Dear Walgreen's, thanks for the "upgrade" to these video screens that don't update inventory, forcing you to open each one. MUCH better than the OG glass doors you could just see through to tell what was in stock.

Dear Walgreen's, thanks for the "upgrade" to these video screens that don't update inventory, forcing you to open each one. MUCH better than the OG glass doors you could just see through to tell what was in stock.

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Wow this is awful


yea there is nothing mild about this.


This is *spicy* infuriating.


Ghost pepper infuriating.


Carolina (edit: Reaper) pepper infuriating.


\*Carolina Reaper While it *will* rip right through you and burn a path like a rod pulled directly from Satan's own personal forge, it's called the Reaper.


It's Walgreens. They put Theranos in their stores without even testing anything. Invested $140 million in Theranos and let them perform "services," which resulted in direct harm to patients and consumers. Obviously their leadership is easily impressed by "new and fancy," with little regard for function.




A stupid startup that defrauded millions from their investors. Their founder was a Steve Jobs wannabe who claimed to have revolutionized laboratory technology. She said they could run hundreds of lab tests in minutes, using just one small machine, all from a single drop of blood from a finger prick. They faked their research, lied to investors and consumers, and gave people fraudulent and often false test results. Sometimes the (known inaccurate) results indicated very serious medical problems like cancer, causing people to suffer emotional distress and seek costly medical evaluations.


I mean, the name is way too close to Thanos to have ever been entrusted with the health of millions.


Yeah but it was *efficient*.


It’s not genocide if it’s random.


Maybe that was their entire goal. Fake research so people become unaware of medical issues and die. Half the universe gone with one company. Perfectly balanced


> known inaccurate This is even understating it. Many of the "tests" they claimed to do weren't even _possible_. The research wasn't just faked, the live results from the device were too.




There's a great documentary on HBO titled "The Inventor: Out for Blood" which covers the story of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. The book titled "Bad Blood" is great as well. Highly recommended. Edit: A typo


Her father was the VP of Enron... Everything makes sense now, and the fact that so many people spent billions on something from a 19-year-old who's father was a major fraud just shows that capitalism is the worst.


This is my go-to fun fact! One of the most egregious case of apple/tree as far as I’m aware.


They are currently filming a TV show about Theranos.


Elizabeth Holmes’ blood test scam.


she is facing up to 20 years in jail and 2.7 million in fines, but she is pregnant and will be a new mother so she will most likely avoid any prison time. You know she had that kid just to get out of it lol.


I hear it did nothing wrong.




Posting this everywhere so people know that it’s the facial recognition technology that the coolers have that is valuable to Walgreens. So the coolers can target ads at you personally. The article about it reads like a dystopian novel: https://www.wsj.com/articles/walgreens-tests-digital-cooler-doors-with-cameras-to-target-you-with-ads-11547206200


Did you see the Perrier wiggle? They might pick ones to wiggle based on your data, also.


That little wiggle filled me with rage tbh


Just doing some A/B testing, nothing to see here folks.


Yeah I was wondering about that. And it would explain how exactly this can be used as an ad or "billboard" like the article says. I was confused at first because I couldn't see how it would simultaneously show the contents of the fridge but also personalize ads... But I think you've nailed it.


They also show huge ads that block the screen at my local one.


Other people have posted videos of it but yes the entire screen plays an advertisement until you get close to them, then they change to show the contents like what op posted


STOP IT. Don’t give them anymore ideas..


>Cameras and sensors inside the coolers connected to face-detection technology also can determine which items shoppers picked up or looked at…—*and can let a retailer know quickly if a product has gone out of stock*. That part seems to be really working well.


I had the same thought. I think that they say that as an added benefit (maybe even to soften the blow to consumers), because clearly it doesn’t matter and none of them would be naive enough to think that every single Walgreens is always fully stocked on all of their drinks. It’s exclusively just an advertisement platform. Nothing to do with making anything better or easier for consumers.


I used to work in the beverage business. All these pharmacy chains are terrible at stocking product in the cold vaults. More than likely all the product is just sitting in the back waiting from a week old delivery. These stores almost have too much going on to even focus on little things like being out of stock on all this stuff.


Sounds like a staffing problem because profitability trumps customer satisfaction.


The first ad in public that uses my name or reveals information about me (even that I like dogs) I will smash for privacy concerns. See y'all on the news!


I would live in a van by the river




Fun fact: Bob Odenkirk wrote this sketch.


En el van circa del rioooooo


I just watched Minority Report for the first time, and seeing that happen there made me squirm. We're certainly not far off from that tech being possible


It's already in use in China, just not with the holographics.


What. The. Actual. Hell is going on? One step closer to either living in the Blade Runner universe or Minority Report. Either way, it's not looking good for regular folk.


masks forever.


Right? Add sunglasses and you're in disguise, everywhere, all the time.


Interestingly, researchers have found that Juggalo makeup (fans of music group Insane Clown Posse) thwarts facial recognition technology.


A ton of media showing dystopian futures, and I don't think anyone thought of a misfit ICP society living on the fringe of towns always wearing make up.


Man, that'd make sense honestly. They are already a very tightknit community. And they gather in the woods every year. Usually has a pretty interesting lineup, too. This year they had Steve-O and Chris Hansen.


You walk up and the entire Faygo section starts hopping and wiggling.


It's 2021, who isn't wearing juggalo makeup when in public already?




I'ma walk like John Cleese in my mask and sunglasses then. If you walk without rhythm, you won't attract the ads.


Suddenly Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks starts to seem a lot more plausible.


Put a 1/2” insert into one of your shoes.


Lemme just fuck up my back forever to thwart invasive advertising.


And you'd think the average anti-masker would be all about that freedom from surveillance. Social acceptance of their tacti-cool face shields. But nope, muh freedoms.


Not an anti masker obv but I did see this in action at an outdoor concert in Minneapolis this summer. It was in that beautiful early part of summer when we were all vaccinated but not worried about delta yet, and we were outdoors, so no one was masked but we all had masks with us. As soon as the cops pulled up we all masked up at once, it was lowkey pretty funny


There's actually a good reason why they haven't realized that, and that's because Anti-Maskers are extremely stupid people.


Right out of minority report


100% “The refrigerator and freezer doors act as a digital merchandising platform that depicts the food and drinks inside in their best light, but also as an in-store billboard that can serve ads to consumers who approach, based on variables such as the approximate age the technology believes they are, their gender and the weather... Ice cream brands could duke it out to get the most prominent placement when it is 97 degrees outside; an older man could see ads for different products than a younger woman.” And: “ The Cooler Screens technology “gives us the ability to dynamically influence the shopper at the point of purchase and get them to add beer to the basket,” she said.”


I'm sure recovering alcoholics are looking forward to that last part.


They'll probably have "*drink responsibly. If you have a drinking problem call this #" in very tiny letters at the bottom just to cover their asses.


Without a doubt. People looking to lose weight will probably love having sweets shoved in their face as well.... Southpark was right. The ads have gotten too smart.


Can you imagine if they started speaking. "Nobody's looking. Just one sip of Jack Daniels and the pain will go away."


“Dynamically influence”


Wowwww, as someone with multiple generations of family ruined by alcoholism, that last bit makes me a lot more than just mildly infuriated.


And like. I honestly. Honestly. Think that the worst part about all of this, is people that are genuinely excited about this. I opened the article and the founder of the company is standing there with a big smile. I'm sure he was excited about that day. Put on shoes and a nice watch, looking forward to the article being written about him. Excited to share his new product with the world, a way to revolutionize blah blah blah blah buzzword advertising nonsense. And they are completely unaware, or at least they know and just don't care, that the rest of the world sees that and think what in the actual fuck, ew, no.


Right?? I’m with you. As an afterthought at the end of the article they’re like: “The business model is not built on selling consumer data,” said Mr. Avakian. “The business model is built on providing intelligence to brands and to the retailers to craft a much better shopping experience.” Does he think that people are stupid and wouldn’t realize that the two statements are completely contradictory?


And yet the article claims that the developers’ research showed most consumers “responded positively” to this shit. I don’t know how anyone in their right mind would see this and think it’s a good idea.


> developers’ research showed most consumers “responded positively” Marketing research showed they will increase profits* FTFY


I feel it would be ethical to blind the camera with a permanent-marker. (Not legal though. Likely to be caught on various cameras doing that. Proceed at your own risk.)


Not if the cameras just happen to get painted over


Absolutely disgusting in my opinion. Imagine every store aisle blasting your PERSONALLY TARGETED adds based on your internet habits as you walk by the face recognizion sensors. Just imagine..


This has been the path we’ve been on for years, and many stores have exactly what you describe already. We’re maybe 10-15 years from literally every purchase and store (real or virtual) collecting every ounce of your data. Literally everywhere you go, anything you spend any amount of time looking at.


Note to self: bring magnet to store


I'm glad I don't have any embarrassing hobbies.


They could have done this and kept the glass. I worked in a department that used facial recognition in malls when people were looking at maps to see where you were planning to go. We were in every major mall as well as restaurants. You should assume this is happening in every chain business. The advertising billboard vs. glass is a different matter entirely. They already had facial recognition, now they're also showing you ads.


Best use-case I've ever seen for "augmented reality" glasses - as an ad-blocker for these horrifying things.


I definitely think this doesn't qualify as 'mild' fury I'm feeling.


The display uses energy, puts off heat which makes the refrigerator run more, and forces everyone to open the door in order to browse, wasting even more energy. This must be promoted by the local electric utility, that's the only thing that makes sense.


This was here a while ago, the math was done. The screens save energy however the assumption was that they would be smart enough to show what's in stock.


there is a chance that solid door actually makes the fridge run less due to better insulation than the window, but I agree with you the rest of it checks out. probably also lost sales because drinks can be a spontaneous purchase and people may not feel like actually seeing if they have stock of whatever interested you


At the Walgreens by my house they also display ads until you are like 6 inches away. So you have to get stupidly close to each door just to see what might be in that fridge and then hope its actually stocked.


6 inches is the height of 0.09 'Samsung Side by Side; Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Refrigerators' stacked on top of each other.


weird bot but ok


Damn imagine not being able to see what’s inside until you’re 1/10th of a samsung side by side fingerprint resistant stainless steel refrigerator away from the screen


I hadn't really considered it from this angle before you said it.


Good bot


but legitimately what is the benefit for the company to do this? sure they aren't plain incompetent?


Three things. Reduced labor is one. No one needs to produce sales tags. It automatically updates sales objects and planograms. Advertisements can be played as well considering they are full displays. The last piece is that they look full. The pandemic had crushed supply chain and retailers who were used to bring out of 300 SKUs are experiencing thousands of outs. These displays appear full. You open it and they are empty, but that's the same level of disappointment as if they came for a drink and they were empty anyways. My source on this is that I am an analytics consultant and my client uses these.


Im guessing its all about the advertising. Notice how some bottles wiggle or jump on the screen, i’ll bet the companies can pay extra for that


Yeah. That right there pissed me off.


What, you want wiggling to just be free??


Wiggle DLC is $2.99


lmao this is so dystopian; its like the way you would treat a dog to get it’s attention by shaking something shiny in front of its face


Wait until you learn about advertising.


As if Paris Hilton's tanned and oiled thighs could make men rush to Hardee's for a burger... Oh wait


As a consultant you should forward them to this thread... 😂


You should consult this consultant.


You just consulted the dude consulting the other dude who consults.


I just consulted myself.


Quite the consultation


Why is nobody consulting me?


Upon further consultation, the consultants we consulted with have been sacked.


I'm just a dude, consulting a dude, consulting another dude.


At least grey them out or add something so it looks full from a distance but you can see close up which is out of stock.


as a consultant i can guarantee something similar was initially proposed and was in their plans, the developers were able to do it, and the client said that’s out of budget let’s just do it this way and the dev team shrugged and because they know it’s dumb but can’t do anything about it


He’s not a developer. He’s a consultant.


Just because customers hate it doesn't mean it isn't a net gain for the business.


I think it’s significantly MORE disappointing to have to open each one by one and see they’re empty instead of walking to the aisle and turning around immediately. Like thanks for ruining the one thing you had going to justify your higher prices: **convenience**.


I've never stood in line at Walgreens thinking about how convenient it is.


Uhh.. you can clearly see tags below each item when OP opens the door. I'm assuming these 'screen' doors are used primarily to display advertising.


The labor thing is kinda dumb. There are only a few cold cases at walgreens & the rest of the store still used tags. I used to do tags & the walgreens cold cases would probably take me less than 1 hour to complete. Also, my level of disappointment at finding the shelves mostly empty would certainly increase after I've seen the fake pictures of all the products. With the glass doors, I can see from 10 ft away that my drink is out. With these doors, I'm tricked into thinking they're full, but open up the door, only to find out they are out of most things. The rationales really do not make common sense, much like any idea that comes from corporate geniuses. You should tell your client that no customer will like these doors more than the old ones.


I’m willing to bet they’ve already run market tests and found that even if it bothers some consumers or even a lot of consumers, it’s not bothering them enough to outweigh the perceived or real benefits.


Upvoted sadly


That may be true, but the long-run could mean consumers choosing other stores *simply because* of these malfunctioning(?) displays. Another reason they could be indifferent, is that the ultimate benefit is ad revenue. The doors are equipped with cameras, and run ads when a consumer approaches. Edit: so, to your point, decreased marginal costs and increased ad revenue, Walgreens probably dgaf.


If it becomes industry standard, though, consumers won’t have a choice. And that’s assuming consumers care enough to avoid going to one store over it.


You can see certain products move a little bit in the video before the door is open, I'm guessing that isn't a coincidence or a accident.


Ran tests for 6 months in Chicago market. Reduced cooling costs outweighed all other benefits


They're probably hoping you think your favorite drink is in stock, then when you open it to grab it and it's empty you just take the next best thing that's actually available. Why not take something since you walked this far, right? They make a sale. If you can see from 10ft away thay what you want isn't there, you might turn around and go elsewhere. Definitely no sale.


That makes sense, but only if the next best thing just happens to be in the case I opened. If I opened case 1 and what I wanted isn't there, the chances that I'm going to open cases 2-6 in search of the next best thing are close to "go screw." Plus, there's the annoyance factor; if they've made me do more work, I want that work to be rewarded with being able to buy what I want -- which means that the range of acceptable alternatives goes way down. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm sure they market tested this stuff and ultimately more people buy than with the alternative. But it would cut the other direction pretty hard for me personally.




If your store pisses me off i'm going somewhere else. Many missed sales.


Tell Walgreens I'll never be back because of shit like this. I am pro ease of life for me not pro ease of life for them.


they make wireless e-ink price tags now. there is now benefit to the consumer. not to mention the increased costs of running the screens, the heat they produce that goes straight back into the fridge. So this means the fridge needs to work harder to keep the temperature low. everyone loses, expect he advertising companies. it is purely an advert screen they got a lot of money to install it. they probably didn't have to even do anything themselves.


The doors aren't the problem. They look great. But their automated ordering system is horrendous. They used to pay distributors to have vendors come in and order properly. They also could get multiple deliveries per week if the store needed and now they only get one. Which leads to someone having to pack out back stock every week instead of a vendor doing it. And besides the fact that distributors are having more outs than ever before because the manufacturer can't meet their demands they still don't have to have holes as much as this. Walgreens is trying to save money, yeah, but they lose sales by not having things in stock and it's mostly because of the automated system.


Just looks like a poorly thought-out idea to me. Source: Over 30 years of producing poorly thought-out ideas.


Tbh I think these screens will show ads in the coming years. Lots of money there for the business, unfortunately.


yeah but in the short term won't this have a negative effect on buyer? also the ads can't be personalised


If the company put in screens that just showed ads right off the bat people would be pissed. They’re trying to ease customers into the experience by normalizing the screens first


Yep it’s not like a gas station pump where you’re a captive audience. They wasted no time loading those up with ads because you’re trapped and what are you going to do, drive to a different gas station?


"Can't be personalized" That's where you're wrong. Many companies are already using their security cameras for the dual purpose of customer facial recognition.


Good thing wearing a mask in public is acceptable now.


Oh don't worry! They can also track who and where you are by getting data from your phone.


They absolutely can be personalized. Walgreens has an app. Lots of people leave location enabled on a lot of apps. Imagine, the app on your phone knows you're near or inside the store and from your purchase history, knows you buy Coke Zero. The app tells the ad system at the store. Suddenly, the Coke Zero is larger on the screen, or maybe it's dancing around. Maybe it starts playing a Coke Zero commercial on one screen and there is a sudden "flash sale" on Coke Zero. It doesn't have to be screaming "Hey DFatDuck! Buy Coke Zero again!" to be a targeted, personalized ad. They'll find a thousand ways to subtly persuade you to buy. The technology and ability to do this already exists and they're just adding more screens to implement it.


They already do. I was in a walgreens last night and they intermittently turned into ad billboards.


They already do show ads. The Walgreens near me has these, and they switch from displaying a full screen ad to displaying the screen here with all of the individual bottles as you walk up (proximity/motion sense). And they take a few seconds to switch over which is kind of annoying because you can't just beeline to the correct fridge since you cant see what they have yet


My friend sent a similar video to me this weekend, and I was blown away like most of this thread. [I found this article about them, which reads like a dystopian nightmare](https://www.wsj.com/articles/walgreens-tests-digital-cooler-doors-with-cameras-to-target-you-with-ads-11547206200) The real reason they have them is so that (1) they can target ads at you based on whether the facial recognition technology inside of it sees you as an elderly man or a young woman, etc. (2) so they can keep track of what you specifically buy, and (3) so the products always look like their most idealized versions. It has nothing to do with anything helpful for the customer and is exclusively a gross facial recognition-based data grab.


Yet another vote for masks.


So they never have to clean the inside and you don’t see the ongoing rat orgies inside.


Is there a sub for moments like these? Like, trying to improve something with *tEcHnoLogY and InNoVatIoN* and failing miserably


Not aware of a sub but a good twitter user for this type of content is @internetofshit


/r/theinternetofshit sounds somewhat similar


Does r/crappydesign fit?


That’s a good idea, call it r/progress or something


Its evolving, but backwards


Technology gets bigger not better


Ya, this drive to over design everything is irritating. I don't need tv screens or whatever the fuck it is on a fridge.


r/CrappyDesign Seriously, I can tell they waste a lot of money on useless feature.


not really crappy design more like crappy implementation since no one bothered to stock the fridges correctly or update the screens


It's crappy design because a clear glass door literally shows you everything in there for free.


You can't show adverts on a clear glass screen. This is all about pushing even more adverts onto people.


I'm sure with a little innovation, we could accomplish this.


never heard of stickers?


They could easily add some censors that display when a column/row is empty. Would immediately fix the problem. Incomplete implementation for sure. An easy solution is to simply incline the shelfs downwards, so the product rest against a stopper and their is a sensor that changes the display if nothing rest on it.


Good use of electricity to power the screens and provide extra cooling after repeated door openings.


If these also somehow provide better insulation, it’s hard to get less efficient than the standard glass fronts. Those things are abysmal for cooling.


I also wonder how much heat that large screen produces. My TV dissipates heat to the back but if this one does that, it would make the fridge more inefficient.




Ignoring the smooth animations all over the screen. All TVs produce heat, especially those that need to be super bright to compete with very bright store lighting.


These are super thin very simple displays, basically LEDs on cardboard.




The future is stupid


Spent all their money on screens, no money for inventory.


This needs to be banned before it catches on and becomes the norm. Advertising is one of the things the planet needs less off not more


It's like when phone manufacturers started removing the headphone jack. *None* of us supported that decision. It made literally nobody who uses a phone happy. But now it's the norm.


It's like when Reddit declared that this year will be the last year it supports Secret Santa exchanges! NO ONE wanted that, there was no "market research," people who participate in the Santa exchanges were pretty uniformly upset. WTF is the motivation?? I thought the saying was, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"


Wait, what?! I just started doing it last year, and it was so much fun!


There's already a new one started up, I think. Search for "new reddit secret Santa", that might get you there.


can you explain the role advertising plays here? looks like an interface issue to me. edit: thanks everyone, i appreciate the clarification


I have these in my local Walgreens. There are sensors just above the freezer doors. When you're close enough, the display shows the items that are (allegedly) inside. But when no one is near the sensors, the screens play advertisements.


I saw that the other day & got a good laugh out of it since when i opened the door, the shelves were basically empty. What a huge waste of money, lmao. Now people will have to hold the door open for much longer to actually see the stock & decide what they want.


Well, you want your fav drink. Not in stock. In a normal glass door you saw immediatly "nope it is not here" ans go away In this door you have to open it... See noting... Is frustrated, but since toi have commited to opening the door maybe you will look around to pick smthing else because frick you have opened the door right ? Or at least I am sure somme commercial sold it that way...


Maybe it's just me, but that would piss me off even more on principle. Because I know glass doors exist & you used to have them & now you're trying to pull an obvious stunt on me, so fuck your hidden cold case items.


Bingo. Same reason the milk is in the back of the grocery store. You might pass something else on your way back and end up getting that too.


Yup and same for Ikea. You walk ALL the shop for some table... And maybe you will buy a toy for your children or a lamp for grandma since you are at it.


This isn't my home fridge and it's not 3AM. I'm the chooser here, not the beggar.


I feel like this would waste more money, wouldn't it? You're wasting power opening the door to check?


I love thinking about how much natural resources are pulled out of the earth for this garbage, the added power needed.


It’s such a sad waste of resources. I can’t wait for another message from companies telling me to recycle but doing things like this


Yep. Why is it raining in greenland for first time in known history?? We all switched to paper straws!


So unnecessary.


This is definitely an executive throwing ideas out to justify their job lol. You know what lets me know what's in the cooler? Clear glass doors.


Oh this is just a testing ground. The real reason is to put ads on there. I can't think of a possible reason a full size display is any better than the glass. After a while they WILL put ads there.


They already do. In the getgo gas station chain near where I work there's already ads on the glass on the doors.


Great, nothing more frustrating than trying to browse the selection and it gets replaced with a 30 seconds of ads. Drive thru menus are cursed with this bullshit too.


Can't forget the ones that are at gas station pumps now too.


Now this is mildly infuriating


Just leave the door open. It will have the benefit of people seeing what's actually inside and fuck those fucking idiots for thinking that was a good idea in the first place. God bless.


This is the worst business decision ever. Costs money, looks like shit, provides no benefit and actually obstructs the brilliance of … see through doors. Just light each cooler excessively well if you want to increase the pop. Whoever thought of this should be fired


I’ve seen nothing but negative feedback about this catastrophe. How can we get Walgreens attention to let them know we think they suck and might be a little stupid for this?


That is literally useless and a waste of resources and power


Just found this at my local Walgreens and every door I opened was nothing but water. So I was like ok I get it, I’m not buying anything from here again.


How ridiculous


"the future" they call it. Screens aren't needed fucking everywhere ._.


That's probably some Walgreen VP in the boardroom who decided this was genius after a zoom meeting.


That is beyond stupid


And here’s where we put the drinks! …IF WE HAD ANY!


that shit must GO


Kind of feel like this is to hide product shortages