Convenience brand Circle K is deploying technology from Standard to offer customers a touchless, autonomous checkout technology.
The brand, a subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard, runs 14,500 stores worldwide and is piloting the technology at a Phoenix, Arizona store retrofitted with AI technology, according to a pres release.
The new comes as contactless and touchless technology is increasingly being adopted by retailers given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the pilot store consumers can walk in, pick up what they need and walk out without any need to stand in line or conduct a transaction at a register or even self-checkout.
The coronavirus has made shoppers wary of touching items in a store given the rampant spread and resurgence across the country.
The effort, on the Standard side, meant integrating with Circle K's legacy systems and working with current store layout, inventory management, replenishment processes as well as lighting and fixtures.
There will be no shelf sensors in the Circle K store; instead, Standard uses ceiling-mounted cameras as well as proprietary AI and machine vision software to accurately associate each shopper with the items they pick up — without using biometric data, according to the release.
Providing a frictionless shopping experience has long been a priority for Circle K, and the technology will also save money.
"Autonomous checkout is one of our innovation priorities that enable us to make our customers' lives a little easier every day. We thoroughly evaluated the market and realized that working with Standard presented significant benefits since they could integrate with our existing systems and retrofit our existing stores," Magnus Tägtström, head of global digital innovation at Alimentation Couche-Tard, said in the release. "We will not have to relocate merchandise, replace shelves or build an entirely new store to implement autonomous checkout. We are excited to partner with Standard to try this technology in some of our stores worldwide."
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