Quick stop C-store visits will become faster. That will be the case at a Circle K venue in Phoenix. Its parent company, Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, has partnered with developer, Standard Cognition, for the installation of the grab-and-go shopping experience. C-stores are a sweet spot for autonomous checkout as well as smaller grocery markets and unattended retail locations.
Beyond Amazon Go, we will continue to see an expansion of autonomous checkout at merchant locations from multiple developers. The technology not only eliminates checkout lines as a customer pain point, but provides contactless payment that aligns well in the COVID-19 era of social distancing.
The following excerpt from a Chain Store Age article covers the topic further:
Circle K is retrofitting one of its stores with autonomous checkout technology.
The convenience retailer will pilot an artificial intelligence (AI)-based touchless checkout solution from Standard Cognition at a store located in the Phoenix area. Customers will be able to walk in, take what they like, and walk out, without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay. Circle K expects to eventually roll out the pilot to other stores. Circle K says it will be the first convenience chain to retrofit an existing store with autonomous checkout technology.
The retrofit will include integrating the Standard Cognition solution with Circle K’s existing systems and working with the current store layout, fixtures and lighting, as well as existing inventory management and replenishment processes.
“Autonomous checkout is one of our innovation priorities that enable us to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day,” said Magnus Tägtström, head of global digital innovation at Circle K parent Alimentation Couche-Tard. “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. We will not have to relocate merchandise, replace shelves or build an entirely new store to implement autonomous checkout.”
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group