In a variation of an Amazon Go store, global grocer Ahold Delhaize is trying a customer self-checkout system in one of its Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands.
This pilot partners with Bay Area-based developer AiFi and Netherlands ING bank. AiFi demonstrated this checkout concept that Mercator tested while attending last January’s National Retail’s Big Show in New York City.
Differing from an Amazon Go store, the system does not require a mobile app download. Instead, a customer simply uses a credit or debit card to gain entry. Then AI driven technology with cameras and sensors take over to track customers and identify products they select.
When shopping is completed, the card on file is charged and the customer exits the store. This means that anyone with plastic can use this store, even without a mobile app. The retailer, however, without a store mobile app, loses the opportunity to engage with the customer for loyalty and marketing purposes.
A Supermarket News article, excerpted below, discusses more on the topic:
Global food retailer Ahold Delhaize is testing an Amazon Go-style, checkout-free micro store under its Albert Heijn grocery banner in the Netherlands. Dubbed AH To Go, the 150-square-foot cashierless store uses “grab and go” technology from Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup AiFi, creator of the NanoStore, an auto-checkout, portable convenience store. Ahold Delhaize said Tuesday it’s developing AH To Go with AiFi and Dutch bank ING.
When asked if the concept is slated to be tested in the United States, an Ahold Delhaize spokeswoman said the company can’t disclose future plans at this time. The retailer’s Ahold Delhaize USA arm, its largest business unit, operates the Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Food Lion and Hannaford supermarket banners.
“Technological innovations follow each other at breakneck speed and offer endless opportunities. Convenience for our customers comes first,” Albert Heijn Brand President and CEO Marit van Egmond said in a statement. “This latest concept not only makes shopping very easy due to its autonomous nature, [but also] this “plug and play” store can be placed at locations where there is a temporary need for a small store, from offices or university campuses to residential areas under construction that do not yet have shopping facilities.”
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Service at Mercator Advisory Group