Continente Opens Its First Cashierless Store
Portuguese retailer Continente has invested over €1 million in opening its first cashierless store in Lisbon in early June, according to media reports.
The Continente Labs store is located in downtown Lisbon, opposite the Arco do Cego garden, a usual meeting place for young people, especially university students.
The retailer partnered with Portuguese start-up Sensei for the AI technology used in the store.
The 150 square metres store is equipped with numerous cameras, shelf sensors, and 20 kilometres of network cables to create a seamless shopping experience.
It creates virtual shopping carts as shoppers pick up items, and the payment is processed automatically via an associated card.
Currently, Amazon operates cashierless stores in the USA and launched its first Amazon Fresh outlet in the UK in March of this year,
Elsewhere, Polish retailer Żabka launched its first cashierless store, under the Żappka banner this week.
How It Works
Shoppers need to download the Continente Labs application on their smartphone and associate a debit or credit card and the billing details for an electronic receipt.
The Continente Labs app generates a QR code, that allows shoppers to enter the store.
Once a customer starts taking items off the shelves, the virtual trolley starts calculating the purchases using AI technology.
The ‘machine vision’ technology follows the customer’s position throughout the shopping trip without using facial recognition.
The sensors are equipped to detect articles taken off the shelf, returned, or put in a different area.
The shop houses a powerful data centre that continuously processes information.
After the customer leaves the shop, Sensei sends the virtual shopping cart to Continente, which processes the payment and issues an electronic invoice.
In case of problems with the items, customers can lodge complaints through a feature in the app.
If a customer leaves an article on the wrong shelf, the employees receive an indication on the app.
Initially, the store will operate between 12:00 and 21:00, six days a week, offering around 1,200 products.
Continente Labs has deployed six people in the shop to receive goods, replenish stock, and ensure hygiene and safety.
With current COVID-19 restrictions, the store allows a maximum of seven people.