Russian grocery retailer Azbuka Vkusa has converted an aisle within one of its Moscow supermarkets to a cashierless store-within-a store, enabling shoppers to use their mobile phone to check in at the entrance to the aisle, add their shopping to their basket and “simply exit when done”.
“As far as we can tell, it is the first ever checkout-free store in the world that is deployed using a store-within-a-store model,” says technology provider Zippin.
Azbuka Vkusa is working with Sberbank and Visa on the project.
Shoppers check in at a turnstile installed at the entrance to the aisle using a Sberbank Take & Go mobile app.
They are then able to select the items they wish to purchase, pay using a linked payment card and then exit the aisle without needing to visit a cashier.
The ability to create a cashierless area within an existing store has a variety of advantages for retailers looking for solutions to social distancing measures, Zippin adds.
“Retailers can set up mini Zippin-powered stores at the front of their existing stores to aid in social distancing efforts and keep their frontline employees and customers safe,” the company suggests.
“These mini stores can be stocked with essential products that are high in demand. Shoppers who only need these essentials can check-in, grab what they want, and exit without waiting in line.
“This allows the retailer to have a higher throughput of shoppers with fewer shoppers inside the larger store and shortened lines both outside the store and at the check-out counters.
“They can also control the number of shoppers entering the mini stores through the electronic access-controlled turnstiles. Their employees can be protected as the frontline workers now also interact with fewer shoppers.”