Walgreens and technology vendor Cooler Screens are embroiled in a legal dispute over the use of digital screens on cooler doors in Walgreens stores. Cooler Screens embedded sensors and digital screens in cooler doors to display targeted ads and digital facsimiles of inventory. However, the partnership ended in acrimony with both parties offering different explanations for the breakdown.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Cooler Screens is suing Walgreens, alleging that the pharmacy chain obstructed a planned nationwide rollout of the technology and demanded the removal of the screens. Cooler Screens claims that Walgreens did not fulfill its contractual obligations. Walgreens contends that the technology from Cooler Screens did not function as expected and terminated its contract with the vendor due to their failure to meet contractual obligations. Walgreens emphasized that customer experience is a top priority.
Walgreens reported various technical issues with the digital screens, including freezing, going dark, displaying incorrect product information, and even safety hazards like screens sparking and catching fire. These issues frustrated customers. Cooler Screens blamed technical problems on Walgreens’ aging electrical and refrigeration infrastructure and stated that Walgreens was responsible for supplying accurate stock data. Cooler Screens also claimed that Walgreens didn’t provide promised customer data for targeted advertising.
Walgreens permitted the installation of 10,300 smart doors in 700 stores, deviating from the initial agreement with Cooler Screens. Microsoft-backed Cooler Screens stated it has not removed its technology from Walgreens stores.