The two companies will launch the world’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology, located in the Phoenix, Ariz., area, with other stores to follow.
Customers will be able to simply walk in, take what they like and walk out, without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay.
This Arizona store will mark the first-ever retrofit of an existing convenience store with autonomous checkout technology. For Standard, this means integrating with Circle K’s existing systems and working with their current store layout, fixtures and lighting, as well as their existing inventory management and replenishment processes. There will be no shelf sensors in the Circle K store; instead, Standard leverages ceiling-mounted cameras as well as proprietary AI and machine vision software to accurately associate each shopper with the items they pick up — without using biometric data.
Creating a frictionless shopping experience has been high on Circle K’s list of priorities for some time and retrofitting existing stores with Standard’s technology will enable the retailer to move forward more quickly and in a more cost-efficient fashion. In this first store, Circle K customers will be able to choose to have a completely autonomous and touchless shopping experience by paying via a smartphone app, or via cash or credit/debit card at a kiosk or by visiting a traditional cashier station.
“Autonomous checkout is one of our innovation priorities that enable us to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day. We thoroughly evaluated the market and realized that working with Standard presented significant benefits since they could integrate with our existing systems and retrofit our existing stores,” said Magnus Tägtström, Head of Global Digital Innovation at Alimentation Couche-Tard. “We will not have to relocate merchandise, replace shelves or build an entirely new store to implement autonomous checkout. We are excited to partner with Standard to try this technology in some of our stores worldwide.”
“We believe convenience stores will be the first major market to quickly adopt autonomous checkout,” said Jordan Fisher, co-founder and CEO of Standard. “With over 150,000 convenience stores in the U.S. alone, this is a key market for Standard. Circle K is one of the leading convenience store chains globally, and this partnership is a major validation for our technology to go live with such a power-house retailer.”
Standard also brings expertise in the intersection of impulse shopping and autonomous checkout. Through its insights, Standard will help Circle K design user experiences that balance operational efficiency, shopper satisfaction and financial optimization.
Standard was one of the first startups in the autonomous checkout space, and first to open a cashierless store in San Francisco. Recognized by Fast Company magazine as “One of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies,” Standard is currently working with retailers across the U.S. and the world. The company has raised $86M in funding from high-profile investors including CRV, Initialized Capital, EQT Ventures and Y Combinator.
Couche-Tard is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In the United States, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of the number of company-operated stores. In Europe, Couche-Tard is a leader in convenience store and road transportation fuel retail in the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as in Ireland, and has an important presence in Poland.
In addition, under licensing agreements, approximately 2,350 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories (Cambodia, Egypt, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Macau, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam), which brings the worldwide total network to close to 14,500 stores.