Following a launch by Giant Eagle, convenience store chain Circle K has rolled out checkout-free payment technology from Grabango at six locations in the greater Tucson, Ariz., area.
Berkeley, Calif.-based Grabango said yesterday that the launch marks Circle K’s first multi-store rollout of the frictionless technology, which enables shoppers to skip waiting at checkout, in Arizona.
The Grabango solution works as follows: After downloading the free Grabango mobile app, customers enter the store and start shopping as normal. Computer vision — through small cameras in ceiling fixtures called G-rails — and machine learning technology track the products that shoppers select as they navigate the store and keep a running total of the items to be purchased. When finished, customers scan the code in the app upon exiting the store. As shoppers leave, they can opt to receive digital receipts, which can be accessed as far back as a year.
“We are passionate about exploring technology that empowers our store teams and helps make our customers’ lives a little easier every day,” Magnus Tägtström, head of global digital innovation at Circle K parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to seeing Grabango’s autonomous checkout solution support our ongoing efforts to make the store experience as seamless and frictionless as possible for our on-the-go customers.”
Grabango’s system is designed to retrofit existing stores and operate within their planogram and merchandise mix. The company noted that its solution requires no membership or check-in, turnstiles or other special gear at the store entrance, and the system doesn’t use facial recognition, maintaining shopper privacy.
“I’m thrilled to announce that we’re working with Circle K and its parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard, on the largest rollout of checkout-free retrofits to date,” commented Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. “Couche-Tard is a sophisticated global partner that’s a leader in delivering technology to benefit its customers. Together, we’re fulfilling the promise of making convenience stores more convenient.”
Pittsburgh-based grocer Giant Eagle, which has installed Grabango’s solution in five GetGo convenience stores, represented the first retailer to retrofit and launch the checkout-free technology in an existing, large-chain store, according to Grabango. Giant Eagle began testing Grabango’s system in 2019. More Grabango rollouts to GetGo stores — and potentially Giant Eagle supermarkets — are in the offing.
The six Circle K stores now offering Grabango checkout are at 15935 N. Oracle Rd. in Tucson and at 11403 W. Tangerine Rd., 3880 W. Tangerine Rd., 5725 W. Ina Rd., 4540 W. Ina Rd. and 5633 W. Cortaro Rd. in Marana, Ariz. Overall, Circle K operates about 7,100 stores in the United States and 2,100 in Canada. Last month, Couche-Tard said Circle K also is piloting frictionless payment technology from San Francisco-based Standard AI at several stores in Tempe and Tucson, Ariz.