Lojas Americanas opens checkout-free automated convenience stores in Brazil

Self-checkout barriers at Brazilian supermarket
CONVENIENCE: Ame Go stores replace physical checkouts with sensors, cameras and QR-enabled entry

Lojas Americanas, Brazil’s largest retailer, has opened the first of a series of Ame Go convenience stores that use a combination of smart shelf sensors, overhead cameras and QR-enabled entry and exit barriers to remove the need to install physical checkout stations.

The new stores will vary in size from 250 to 3,000 square feet and will be located in “high-traffic, mostly urban locations with a largely captive customer base”, such as financial districts and housing complexes, technology supplier Zippin says.

To access a store, customers need to have first downloaded the retailer’s Ame Digital app onto their mobile phone.

They then use a QR code in the app as their digital entry key to the store, select the items they wish to purchase — with no need to scan a barcode — and place their purchases directly into their shopping bag.

They then leave via the entry/exit barrier, with no checkout required. A receipt for their charged purchases will automatically appear in the app.

The first store opened in Rio de Janeiro four months ago and a second is due to open in Sao Paulo “soon”.

A video shows the service in action:

An automated Ame Box store-within-a-store concept is also under development, Zippin says.