Shoprite has showcased its latest retail innovation – an automated, cashless “no queues, no checkout, no waiting” concept store called Checkers Rush.
The store is located at the offices of Shoprite’s new digital business unit ShopriteX, which was officially launched on Wednesday.
Shoprite chief of strategy and innovation Neil Schreuder said the Checkers Rush store was one of his favourite “pet projects”.
The store lets employees take products from the shelves and walk out without paying at a till-point or checkout counter.
“It’s our concept of a checkout-less store,” Schreuder stated.
“We use advanced AI and machine vision technology and cameras to identify which products and brands customers are taking from the shelf, and then we automatically bill your bank card.”
A video on the launch of ShopriteX includes a brief illustration of how the buying process at the Checkers Rush store works.
It shows an employee scanning their iPhone before entering the store, taking a few products from the shelves and then swiping their hand over a contactless sensor before walking out.
The store appears to be working on the same premise and using similar technology as the Amazon Go convenience stores in the US and UK.
The company initially wanted to launch these stores in January 2017, but encountered issues with the tracking technology when more than 20 people were in the store.
The first Amazon Go store opened to the public in January 2018, and there are now 29 outlets across the world.
Two Amazon Go Grocery stores, which also offer fresh produce and baked goods, were launched in 2020.
Customers have to download the Amazon Go app for Android or iOS and link it to their Amazon account as the primary payment method to use the stores.
No public launch details
The Checkers Rush store is one of the numerous digital innovations that ShopriteX is developing, and Shoprite did not reveal any details around plans for a public launch.
The group’s innovation hub aims to combine data science and technology to create more personalised shopping experiences for customers.
It has already launched projects like Checkers popular delivery service Sixty60 and its Xtra Savings rewards programme.
The video below introduces the new ShopriteX digital business unit and showcases the Checkers Rush store.