Today Shoprite, the retail giant that owns the Checkers brand, announced it was testing a concept for an automated Checkers store it calls Checkers Rush.
The store will use “advanced AI camera technology” to identify the products you take off the shelves — and the ones you put back, we’re hoping — then will bill your bank card when you exit.
This will mean, in theory at least, no more standing in queues and waiting to pay. This concept is by no means a world first. Nor would it go to Amazon either as you might have guessed. It would actually go to Keedoozle, a grocery store concept in the US all the way back in 1937.
It was a little more low-tech than today’s offerings. Items were placed behind transparent covers and shoppers were given special keys that they would insert into the hole next to each item and choose the quantity. Picture a vending machine you walk into. They would then go to checkout, give their keys to a store employee and make payment in full. Then they would receive their items, already packed in a bag.
As revolutionary as that sounds, it was 84 years ago and people back then weren’t all that open to change. Not like the folks of today. /s
Because people were hesitant to adopt this new, drastically different retail experience and the technology needed to catch up a bit, the oddball stores closed their doors in 1949.
Bold strategy Shoprite, let’s see if it pays off for ’em
Fast forward to today, and we have the likes of Amazon Go in the US and a startup based in Stockholm, Sweden called Lifvs. In Shoprite’s version customers are granted ingress by scanning their smartphone at a turnstile and, upon exiting the store, are charged via Checkers’ “Cloud Cashier” using a dedicated app.
The announcement of the new store was revealed by Shoprite during a promotional video of its new digital innovation unit, Shoprite X.
At the moment the store and concept are only being tested by Shoprite X employees in the Western Cape.
While it sounds like an exciting new proposal, we’ll be surprised if it turns out to be as simple and convenient as Shoprite hopes it will be.
Source: Business Insider