Sunday, February 21, 2021

Zippin’s Cashierless Hotel C-Store is a Winning Growth Solution


The San Francisco-based technology driven Zippin announced the launch of its latest retail format: a hotel convenience store. Its new store is in the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel is also the first store in Japan open to the general public to use biometric authentication technology to verify customers’ identities.

Ok, so you think that it sounds easy? Well according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® its not easy.  However, it works, elevates cashierless stores once again and just may be a break-through technology edifying restaurants, grocery stores, C-store, and dollar stores soon.  

So, Zippin’s partner, Fujitsu, the leading systems integrator in Japan, has worked with Koyo Group to implement the world’s first checkout-free store within a hotel at the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel. It is also the first store in Japan open to the general public to use biometric authentication technology to verify customers’ identities. Johnson stated, in the U.S. some may object to this but not him.  It’s faster, more reliable, and seamless.

Now with this partnership, the store operator is keeping shoppers and workers safe during the pandemic with a cashierless checkout, eliminates stress of lines and wait times, and raises customer satisfaction by optimizing the product lineup. It’s going to be much more important after the pandemic when the hotel is full and customers are time-starve once again.

The new grab-and-go Green Leaves Plus unit which sells pre-packaged food and beverages as well as fresh bento box meals, opened early this year as a pilot and customers are able to enter the store via smartphone app. Here is how it works:

“Customers must register their credit card information, and then enter the store with the QR code displayed on the app. Customers can also use the multi-biometric authentication technology that links their palm vein and facial recognition information with the smartphone application. After registering this in advance, a smart phone is no longer required for entry, just a simple swipe of the palm.”

Koyo will start full-scale operation at the store in April 2021. Early analytics suggest Koyo has relatively high traffic during the nine hours it’s open every day. Shoppers are spending an average of 113 seconds in the store, which is considerably fast considering the size of the store and variety of items furthering Zippin’s “zip in and out” approach.

said Zippin Co-Founder and CEO Krishna Motukuri stated, “Zippin is excited to work with Fujitsu to power the checkout-free technology for this new Koyo hotel store. We believe that there is big growth potential for checkout-free retail in Japan. The Green Leaves Plus store at Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel is helping to lead the way to a better retail experience at hotels, hospitals, and other places where people need convenient access to food and drinks,”.

Koyo is looking a customer ahead as it also operates convenience stores and restaurants in more than 500 hospitals. This first hotel convenience store will also be a model for how checkout-free technology could work in a hospital setting — where people need 24 hour access to food and drink — without having to require a constant staffing presence. The new store is part of a multi-phase expansion plan by Koyo to ultimately create new convenient foodservice concepts for hospitals.

Motukuri continued “Any store that provides all-hours access is an ideal location for checkout-free technology because the stores can be kept open without having to maintain staffing levels, especially in off-peak periods. The opportunities are endless,”.

So, Zippin has developed the next generation of checkout-free technology enabling retailers to quickly deploy frictionless shopping in their stores. Zippin’s patent-pending approach uses AI, machine learning and sensor fusion technology to create the best consumer experience: banishing checkout lines and self-scanners for good and letting shoppers zip in and out with their purchases.

Zippin‘s platform leverages product and shopper tracking through overhead cameras, as well as smart shelf sensors, for the highest level of accuracy even in crowded stores. Founded by industry veterans from Amazon and SRI with deep backgrounds in retail technology, AI and computer vision. Are you ready to get-Zippin?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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