Foodstuffs to trial ‘checkout trolley’ tech

New Zealanders will be the first in the world to trial new artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the trolley when they shop for groceries at a Foodstuffs store in coming months.

New Zealand-based artificial intelligence company Imagr is launching its Smartcart technology at a Four Square store in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie.

The move comes as retailers around the globe look for ways to give consumers more streamlined methods and checkout-less options for shopping, including the recent launch of Amazon Go in Seattle.

The store will be the flagship Foodstuffs retail outlet to trial the computer vision technology retrofitted to shopping baskets and carts that recognises products as soon as they are placed inside – eliminating the need for barcode scanning, checkouts and queueing.

Foodstuffs North Island chief information officer Peter Muggleston (pictured right) said brick and mortar retailers must embrace AI technologies to enhance consumer experiences and ensure they lead the field in what they offer.

“We’re committed to giving Kiwi shoppers the best service, experiences and innovation,” he said.

“This technology will give consumers more options, reduced wait times and variety during their store visits, giving our staff more time to offer their advice and help in other ways.”

Foodstuffs is the first FMCG retailer down under to pilot the tech, while momentum is building globally as Imagr said it’s in talks with retailers in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and America.

“Personalisation and convenience are becoming industry norms, bricks and mortar is no exception, people want ease of access to products and to bypass queues,” said Imagr founder William Chomley (pictured left).

“We’re focused on creating a hyper-personalised in-store experience that also includes an alternative method for checking out.”

* This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail New Zealand.

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