Ahold Delhaize is introducing frictionless stores to a wider public after successful in-house trials on both sides of the Atlantic. Customers can scan a debit card, take what they want from the shelves and leave without checking out. The technology does it for them.
In the United States, Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA will demo its frictionless store at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show in January 2020. The store is already being piloted at the company’s office in Quincy Massachusetts. The technology has been developed in partnership with UST Global and Intel.
Inside the store, artificial intelligence detects which products are being removed from shelves and body skeletal tracking connects the right products to the right shopper. Services such as PayPal, Venmo, Apply Pay and Google Pay are integrated into the wallet.
In Europe, Albert Heijn has set up a digital store at Schiphol Airport for a 2-month trial. Customers scan their contactless debit card to enter. In the store, customers take products and sensors keep track of which products they take or put back on the shelves. Cameras determine the position of customers without using facial recognition. This allows the store to monitor who is taking what from the shelves.
The payment system was developed with American tech startup AiFi and Dutch bank ING. Payment takes place automatically as customers exit the store. Customers do not have to register in advance or download an app.