COVID-19 pandemic, industry 4.0, innovation, supermarket retail


The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered changes in the social behavior of individuals and companies, affecting the operations of organizations operating in various economic sectors. Changes in operational processes promoted by retail companies were motivated by changes in consumer purchasing habits. From this perspective, digital technologies belonging to the concept of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) have shown themselves to be promising. Given this scenario, the objective was to identify which operational processes were remodeled, from the perspective of innovation, due to the adoption of new technologies, in particular, Industry 4.0 technologies, in a specific supermarket chain. The method used in the research was a single, exploratory, and qualitative case study. The research results indicated three main changes in operational processes promoted by the company because of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely: the incorporation of remote work for part of the workforce, the implementation of an online sales channel, and the adoption of payment systems via PIX and contactless payments. For such operational changes to be made possible, three types of technologies belonging to the industry 4.0 concept were crucial: cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things.

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