Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has launched its own click-and-go concept store, where shoppers simply use their smart phone to complete transactions.
The store in Melbourne’s inner-suburb Richmond opened today, completely cash and card free.
Because the purchases are completed on the consumers’ phones, the store has no physical checkout counter.
Customers walk through the store, pick the items they want, scan the barcodes with their phone and complete the transactions through the app.
The technology, more resembling a futuristic Amazon concept, was tested in another inner-city Melbourne 7-Eleven alongside a staffed checkout.
The next generation payment system ramps up the store’s convenience, 7-Eleven chief executive Angus McKay said.
“Nobody likes to wait, so eliminating queues was part of the mission for this mobile checkout,” he said in a statement.
“In the new concept store, customers will notice the absence of a counter.
“The store feels more spacious and customers avoid being funnelled to a checkout location creating a frictionless in-store experience.
Mr McKay said the company intended to continue trialling new and innovative functions in its large fleet across Australia.
“Continuing our focus on providing ultimate convenience, this year we’re trialling a catering service, and we’re thinking about ways to provide an extraordinary experience to more customers, more often, in more ways that suit them,” he said.
“That might be delivery, it might be micro store formats.
“We’re trying to push the notion of ‘convenience’ to its absolute limit.”
Online retailer Amazon opened a similar store in Seattle at the start of last year using technology that allows customers to take what they want and go.
Shoppers enter the store by scanning the Amazon Go app on their mobile at a turnstile, and every item taken from the shelf is added to the individual customer’s virtual cart thanks to “the world’s most advanced shopping technology”.
Anything put back on the shelf is deleted from the cart.
Amazon uses cameras, algorithms and weight sensors to determine what shoppers have added to their trolley, and customers pay electronically through an account linked to their phone when they leave the store using “Just Walk Out” technology.
There are no employees needed to man cash registers but there are some staff members in the store who are responsible for food preparation, stocking shelf and helping customers.
Amazon Go sells ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, meal kits, grocery staples like bread and milk and items from the Whole Foods 365 brand, such as cookies, popcorn and dried fruit.