September 3, 2021

Checkers, the supermarket chain in southern Africa, has launched its first checkout-free store to help it trial artificial intelligence technology.

Called Checkers Rush, the concept store uses “advanced artificial intelligence camera technology” to identify what products shoppers have taken off the shelves.

Their bank cards are debited for the goods when they leave the experimental store, which is part of the company’s Shoprite X “digital innovation unit” near Checkers’ headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa.

Only staff at Shoprite X are currently able to use the store, according to reports, although the intention is to roll out the technology being trialled there.

Shoppers “check in” by scanning an app on their smartphone as they enter through a turnstile before picking up their goods, then “check out” using a touchless button on the wall.

Supermarket chain Checkers goes checkout free
Customers check out of the Checkers Rush store using a touch-free button.

Analysts have suggested that these checkout-free and cashier-free stores are more suited to occasions when customers are buying just a handful of items rather than carrying out a large weekly shop.

The smartphone app has a facility that allows customers to raise a dispute if they have been billed for an item they think they have not taken.

The launch of a checkout-free store by Checkers follows similar moves by other retailers, including Amazon and Tesco, the UK-based retailer.

As reported by Sial Paris Newsroom, Tesco has a pilot checkout-free store at its headquarters in the town of Welwyn Garden City north of London.

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