June 3, 2021

Grocery chain REWE Group will be the first German retailer to implement checkout-free technology thanks to a new partnership with Israeli start-up company Trigo.

In the initial phase, REWE employees and loyalty card shoppers at the REWE store on Zeppelinstraße, close to Cologne’s Neumarkt, will be able to walk into the shop, select their items, and simply walk out – without having to queue at the checkout lane or scan any items, the company said. 

The move marks Trigo’s entry into the German market and builds on its ongoing work with Tesco, the largest grocery retailer in the UK, and Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain.

Founded in 2017, Trigo taps into AI-powered computer vision technologies with off-the-shelf hardware to give shoppers a checkout-free experience that allows them to grab-and-go, while being automatically charged for the items they take with them.

Trigo technology does not use facial recognition, nor does it capture biometric data or hold any direct identifiers of customers. The system recognises shoppers’ movement while they’re in the store but does not know who they are at any stage.

Notices on the store’s doors will inform shoppers about the cameras in the ceilings, including information about how they do not capture any biometric data, and that faces are blurred.

Michael Gabay, Trigo’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, said Trigo’s solution is based on computer vision technology together with affordable off-the-shelf sensor kits that create a 3D model of a retail space to digitally map its physical environment. 

The company applies its proprietary algorithms to ceiling-mounted cameras which automatically crunch and analyse anonymised data on shoppers’ movements and product choices, allowing them to pick up their desired items and walk out without stopping at the checkout lane.

Gabay said: “Trigo is immensely proud and honoured to be rolling out its frictionless grocery shopping technology with REWE, one of Europe’s biggest and most innovative grocery retailers.

“REWE placed its trust in Trigo’s privacy-by-design architecture, and we look forward to bringing this exciting technology to German grocery shoppers.”

Trigo’s system will compile the selected items into a virtual shopping list and settle payments and receipts digitally through a mobile application. The store is scheduled to be open to the wider public in the summer.

Founded in 1927, REWE Group operates some 6,000 stores in Germany and 3,500 internationally and employs over 363,000 people. 

Its partnership with Trigo is run out of REWE’s Research & Innovation Department.

Gabay added: “As a leading provider in this space, Trigo has seen rapid growth and increasing demand for its automated technologies. We are poised to launch new stores on Continental Europe in 2021.”

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