Dubai: Carrefour has launched what it calls the world’s first ‘sail thru’ supermarket, targeting yachts and watersport enthusiasts who need emergency supplies.
Taking its grocery offering to the high seas, the Majid Al Futtaim-owned supermarket chain will operate three custom-built floating shops at Kite Beach, Jumeirah Public Beach and Al Sufouh Beach.
A company statement said the service would be subject to weather conditions.
Stocking products tailored to a sea-faring audience, Carrefour said that customers would be able to purchase goods such as hot and cold snacks, ice cream, fresh food and beverages, in addition to non-food items like sunscreen and medicine.
Jet skiers and passengers in small sailing crafts can sail up to the supermarket, dubbed the Aqua Pod, the company said, and order at the window counter, where they will pay and receive their packed items.
Customers on larger sailing vessels in the area or on the selected beaches can order by phone or via the Aqua Pod app, with a skiff delivering their order within 45 minutes.
“[This] is a world-first for Carrefour and our industry,” said Hani Weiss, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “More than ever, a successful business depends on continually reinventing itself to stay ahead of customer needs and expectations.”
Designed and created by the Dubai-based Aquatic Architects Design Studio (AADS), the floating supermarket, will be powered by rechargeable batteries.
It will also suck in floating waste via vacuums attached to the boat’s exterior, with the rubbish being disposed of and recycled once onshore.
Majid Al Futtaim added that the Aqua Pod will only provide customers with biodegradable paper straws and bags.
“It is a natural next step to cater to our customers with relevant products in a locale where they are not currently being served,” said Miguel Povedano, chief operating officer of Carrefour UAE.
He said that the company was excited at the prospect of being able to now reach its customers both on land and sea.