The COVID-19 pandemic is rewriting all the longstanding rules of retail. For instance, going online is no longer a nice-to-have option for retailers as digital strategies are becoming more essential than ever for them to thrive in the post-COVID-19 era. The same goes for adaptability in their delivery systems as well. While self-service kiosks have already made their presence known in the retail industry even before COVID-19, the present crisis is only substantiating the case for self-service kiosks and why it should be looked upon as the future of retail. In the wake of the pandemic, self-service kiosks are presenting themselves as a blessing for retailers to carry on their business while ensuring safety and enhancing the experience of customers.
Given the benefits of self-service kiosks, now imagine, what if one could take these automated kiosks to the doorstep of consumers? Sounds futuristic? But no more. This hi-tech vision is already in action because of Carts Blanche, LLC—a trailblazing company that is bringing forth the modern self-service retail of tomorrow, today. Founded in 1995 by Annette Nolan, Carts Blanche brings together mobility, technology, and automation under one roof, enabling retailers to meet the demands of modern-day customers. Carts Blanche’s innovative “Mobile Automated Retail Stores” combine self-service retail with mobile real estate, thereby allowing the owners to capitalize on new markets and new customers at a higher rate of return while eliminating the traditional overhead costs of the brick and mortar stores. Interestingly, these mobile automated retail stores offer all the benefits of self-service retailing along with some unique competitive advantages, such as round the clock operation, venue versatility, expansive customer base, and immediate ROI.
Carts Blanche’s mobile automated retail stores are vending trailers that can be set up and operated by a single person. These vending trailers, namely VendaCarts, VendaMarts, VendArcades, VendaBanks, VendaPromotions, and VendaWorks, cater to different industries, such as retail, gaming, banking, marketing/promotions, industrial supplies,and so on. They can accommodate from six to eleven vending machines depending on size and style. Their interchangeable design can also accommodate different combinations of additional equipment, such as microwaves, ATMs, digital signages, TV screens, and condiment stands, allowing retailers to design and customize the trailer according to their business requirements. “Moreover, our unique and portable design allows our clients to take the automated machines into areas that automated retail has never operated in before,” says Annette Nolan, the founder and CEO of Carts Blanche.
Remarkably, this portability of retail stores is playing a phenomenal role amid the pandemic, taking pre-packaged groceries, medical products, and other essentials to the neighborhoods, rural areas, and housing and business complexes across the U.S. These trailers, with plexiglass divider shields, anti-bacterial coating, and hand sanitizers, are assuring seamless conduct of business for customers.
Redefining Retail since 1995
Founded in 1995 by Annette Nolan, Carts Blanche brings together mobility, technology, and automation under one roof, enabling retailers to meet the demands of modern-day customers
Carts Blanche began its eventful journey by designing and manufacturing wooden pushcarts and kiosks. Through the latter half of the 90s, with a customized approach and attention to detail in carting, they developed fruitful partnerships with major corporations such as Nestle, Disney, and Aramark, and big hotel groups like Radisson and Holiday Inn. Carts Blanche swiftly realized the potential that the vending, catering, and concession industries hold, and in 2007 they developed the first version of their VendaCarts.
“VendaCarts has been a revolutionary concept in automated retail sales,” states Annette. She emphasizes that it has always been her vision to take products and commodities to the locales of the consumers. “Our aim is not to just sell a product but to develop a business opportunity that delivers convenience retailing at its finest. And now, with the pandemic in the mix, others have also started to recognize the significance of agility, comprehensiveness, and convenience that VendaCarts brings to the table,” adds Annette.
From the entrepreneurs venturing intoa new business to large corporations looking to expand, today, Carts Blanche carts are used across different industries for numerous purposes. They are currently being used for selling and vending a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional products across diverse locations, such as outdoor events, construction sites, manufacturing locations, university campuses, entertainment facilities, relief sites, rural areas, and military installations, among others.
Notably, paving the way for a revolutionary business opportunity for the veterans, Carts Blanche has also launched a mentoring program – “Veterans 4 Vending” to enable veterans to become successful business owners by giving them a guided understanding of the operations of the VendaCarts. This free mentoring program focuses on three key areas – business operations, equipment acquisition, and custom design options. In this program, consultants work with veterans throughout and provide them with the tools for success, from planning to business launch.
Having assisted numerous such individuals and corporations in building a profitable mobile automated business model, Carts Blanche is now looking forward to extending its corporate sales. “We are focusing on enhancing our partnerships with the corporates. We are also working with a technological firm to upgrade our technological offerings,” concludes Annette.