Friday, September 13, 2019

To-Go Stores that are Cashier-less Rattle Retail

Not all legacy retailers are looking in the rear view window trying to do what they have always done some global leaders are Looking A Customer Ahead the same way Amazon is with its Amazon Go concept according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Technology is consumer relevant to Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X is ways most legacy food CEO’s in the US have yet to understand according to Johnson.  So, Get this in yet another iteration of the fast-evolving field of checkout-free stores, Ahold Delhaize’s Albert Heijn division is testing a tiny, portable store that uses computer vision and weight sensors to provide checkout-free shopping.
In short, they are using trailer-sized store in the Netherlands offers checkout-free shopping to drive growth, customer relevance and test how they might use a cashier-less platform to drive sales moving forward.
Ahold Delhaize in partnership with the U.S.-based startup AiFi and the Dutch bank ING, is located in front of Albert Heijn’s support office and Ahold Delhaize’s headquarters in Zaandam in the Netherlands and will be tested by the company’s employees over the next two months. That as regular readers of this blog know is the exact way that Amazon introduced Amazon Go.
 Ahold Delhaize expects the store, branded under the company’s small-store Albert Heijn To Go concept, could be relocated to another location in the Netherlands later this year. Looking a customer ahead the new test unit is only 14 square meters, or about 150 square feet—about the size of a single-wide trailer home—the tiny store is packed with innovations “that make it possible to buy something as if you were taking it out of your refrigerator,” There is no checkout, and consumers do not need to scan products according to the company.
Restaurant chains trying to sell more food, drive year over year customer counts will have incremental problems selling meals if cashier-less small foot print stores move closer to the consumer than their restaurants can and sell for less since they don’t even use cashiers.
Ahold said that “The new unit, which is something like a walk-in vending machine, will be stocked with convenience items such as drinks and sandwiches and is among a wide variety of such stores in development, including several iterations by Ahold Delhaize. 
A separate Albert Heijn store inside the headquarter lobby in Zaandam utilizes a “Tap to Go” technology, which allows shoppers to pay for each item they take by tapping an electronic shelf tag with a shopping card or mobile app. Ahold Delhaize, which launched the concept two years ago, is still testing the technology at several locations in the Netherlands, officials said. The retailer said it would also be testing a driverless mobile store in the U.S. 
Food operators are moving forward companies the ilk of Amazon with Amazon Go units and partnerships between retailers and tech startups, such as deals between Grabango and Giant Eagle; Zippin and Lojas Americanas; and Trigo Vision and Tesco. 
Marit van Egmond, president of Albert Heijn stated “Convenience for our customers comes first. This latest concept not only makes shopping very easy—due to its autonomous nature, 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,”… “A second advantage is that the store can always be open, which is useful for people who are on the road very early or very late.”
The store, will open its doors to shoppers with a swipe of their credit or debit card. Inside the store, shoppers can take items from the shelves in the manner of an Amazon Go store. A screen near the exit door will show customers their bill total, and their payment is processed automatically.
AiFi, based in Santa Clara, Calif., calls the unit a NanoStore. Steve Gu, CEO and co-founder, explained how it works: “We develop cutting-edge computer vision and sensing technologies to enable automated checkout. Cameras see where you are in the store and associate product items to your virtual basket. In addition, in-store sensors keep track of products that are taken off or put back on the shelves.”
“Multiple sensing modalities work like a symphony to accurately decipher who is grabbing what, instantaneously,” he continued. “As a result, customers can enjoy ultra-convenient and delightful shopping with lightning speed. The cameras determine the position of customers in the store without face recognition. They only register shapes and [arm] movements.”
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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