Asda is rolling out its 3D printing service to 50 stores in January following two trials that it called “a resounding success”.
The supermarket started testing the service in York in October, before taking it on a tour of different stores just before the Christmas peak period. It will embark on a phased roll-out to 50 stores in the New Year.
Asda head of personalisation Phil Stout said customers have responded well to the service. “It provided an extension of the Asda personality, and was a real point of difference in our stores. It successfully added a lot of theatre to our stores,” he added
He said the service was particularly popular among soldiers. Stout said: “Some [soldiers] who are not at home for Christmas because they’re doing tours of Afghanistan have given them to loved ones as a gift, which is quite touching,”
The service is also proving popular among children, who are coming to be scanned in sports kit or dressed for other hobbies.
Asda is planning to develop its use of technology in personalisation next year. Stout says it is looking into how else the scans shoppers have taken of them when using the 3D service could be used. Shoppers could, for instance, build avatars based on their scans that could be featured in online interactive games, Stout said.
Asda is also working on licensing deals that will allow it to provide shoppers with services enabling them to personalise branded goods, such as Mr Men figures or superhero dolls.
It is also working on a service that will allow shoppers to scan their pets for 3D models, but Asda said it would a challenge to find an area in store where animals could be allowed. It is also a challenge to get pets to stand still for the required two minutes, Stout added.
Asda is also mulling selling 3D printers. Stout said the supermarket will look at it “in the very near future”.