ShopRite operator Wakefern Food Corp. plans to test cashierless shopping technology from frictionless checkout specialist Trigo.
The companies said Thursday that they’ve entered an agreement to pilot an “autonomous supermarket” using Trigo’s artificial intelligence-based computer vision solution, which allows customers to skip the checkout line through a “walk in, walk out” experience for shopping and making purchases.
For Tel Aviv, Israel-based Trigo, the project will mark its first U.S. deployment. Wakefern, the largest U.S. retailer-owned grocery cooperative, has a retail network of more than 360 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island under the ShopRite (nearly 280 locations), The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace, Gourmet Garage, Fairway Market and Dearborn Market banners.
“With Trigo’s frictionless technology, Wakefern Food Corp. is opening up access to cutting-edge innovation for our members,” Charlie McWeeney, vice president of technology, innovation and strategy at Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern, said in a statement. “We are excited to pilot Trigo’s solution and offer our consumers the ultimate in checkout convenience.”
Trigo’s EasyOut system enables shoppers to walk into a store, pick the products they want and then walk out without having to go to the register. The technology, integrated with a retailer’s mobile app, applies proprietary algorithms to ceiling-mounted cameras that track and analyze anonymized data on shoppers’ journey through the store and their product choices.
Shoppers scan a QR code in the app to enter the store, and Trigo’s solution tags them anonymously and follows their movements and product choices. Customers grab items from shelves as usual, and the system detects and identifies the selection, with no scanning needed. The technology automatically compiles products chosen into a virtual shopping list and tallies the total purchase, allowing shoppers to leave the store without stopping at the checkout or having to pass through an exit gate, according to Trigo.
“Trigo is proud to work with some of the largest grocery retailers around the world, so partnering with Wakefern Food Corp. was a natural step for the company,” commented Michael Gabay, co-founder and CEO of Trigo. “By helping Wakefern convert some store formats, or develop new ones that are exclusive to their brands, we can help them accelerate their growth within the market and pave the way for frictionless shopping in the future.”
On its website, Trigo notes that its frictionless checkout technology is designed to retrofit existing stores, making it a scalable solution for retailers large and small. The sensor package installs overnight, avoiding disruption during store hours, and then the system “learns” the unique shopper behavior at each store.
Trigo’s frictionless checkout already has been deployed by large grocery retailers in Europe — including Tesco in the United Kingdom and Rewe, Aldi Nord and Netto in Germany — and by Israel’s largest supermarket chain, Shufersal.
In the United States, Amazon has popularized the autonomous store concept through its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, which first appeared in the e-tail giant’s Amazon Go convenience stores and now is being expanded to its nascent Amazon Fresh supermarket banner and Whole Foods Market subsidiary, as well as to other retail operators. The latter also includes U.K. grocer Sainsbury’s, marking the first international, third-party retailer to use Just Walk Out cashierless technology.
Other supermarket retailers in the U.S. adopting checkout-free technology include Ahold Delhaize USA, through its Lunchbox solution, and Giant Eagle, which uses technology from Berkeley, Calif.-based Grabango.