Circle K to launch checkout-free technology in North America
Circle K is preparing to pilot checkout-free technology in North America.
Standard, which provides the only autonomous checkout solution that can be quickly and easily installed in existing stores, announced that Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Fortune Global 500 company that operates close to 14,500 convenience stores worldwide, including under the global brand Circle K, has selected Standard to pilot touchless, autonomous checkout technology for its stores.
Together, the two companies will launch the world’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology, located in the Phoenix, AZ 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. 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.
Creating a frictionless shopping experience has been high on Circle K’s list of priorities for some time and retrofitting existing stores with Standard’s technology will enable the retailer to move forward more quickly and in a more cost-efficient fashion. 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 realized 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. “We will not have to relocate merchandise, replace shelves or build an entirely new store to implement autonomous checkout. We are excited to partner with Standard to try this technology in some of our stores worldwide.”