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Circle K to try out checkout-free technology

By Retail Technology | Tuesday September 1 2020

North American convenience store chain Circle K is preparing to pilot checkout-free technology

Circle K operator Alimentation Couche-Tard has selected Standard Cognition to pilot its touchless, autonomous checkout technology.

The two companies will launch the world’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology, located in the Phoenix, Arizona area, with other stores to follow. Customers will be able to simply walk in, take what they like, and walk out, without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay.

This Arizona store will mark the first-ever retrofit of an existing convenience store with autonomous checkout technology.

For Standard, this means integrating with Circle K’s existing systems and working with their current store layout, fixtures and lighting, as well as their existing inventory management and replenishment processes.

Touchless shopping

There will be no shelf sensors in the Circle K store; instead, Standard leverages 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.

In this first store, Circle K customers will be able to choose to have a completely autonomous and touchless shopping experience by paying via a smartphone app, or via cash or credit/debit card at a kiosk or by visiting a traditional cashier station.

“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 realised that working with Standard presented significant benefits since they could integrate with our existing systems and retrofit our existing stores,” said Magnus Tägtström, head of Global Digital Innovation at Alimentation Couche-Tard.