Polish retailer Żabka has opened its first cashier-less store, under the Żappka banner.
The format, which was unveiled at the Poznań International Fair, is designed for locations where it is not possible to open a standard Żabka outlet.
The store will initially feature more than 300 SKUs, including sweets, ready meals, salty and sweet snacks and drinks, as well as coffee from an espresso machine.
During pandemic restrictions, one person will be allowed in the store, the retailer added.
Żabka plans to launch more Żappka outlets in the big cities and the second outlet is set to open in Warsaw.
Tomasz Suchanski, CEO of the Żabka Polska Group, said, "The Żabka group develops concepts in the area of modern convenience that respond to the needs of modern customers. Żappka store fits precisely into this trend.
"Together with the Żappka app, which is already used by five million users, it contributes to the ecosystem of digital solutions that make our customers' lives easier."
The store operates round the clock and is connected to the Żappka app.
It uses AI-based technology, developed through Żabka Future's collaboration with the American technology company AiFi.
The concept is based on the latest technologies such as advanced image processing models, using artificial intelligence algorithms for customer service and intelligent solutions for power supply, security and shop availability management, the retailer added.
'New Shopping Experience'
Tomasz Blicharski, managing director of Żabka Future, commented, "Żappka Store is a fusion of the offline and online worlds, building a new shopping experience for customers, who can even do a quick shopping in seconds by selecting a product and simply walk out without having to pay on the spot."
Żabka tested the technology used in the Żappka store with employees and associates before rolling it out to customers.
The store uses green energy for its operations and aligns with the company's targets to achieve climate neutrality.
How It Works
Customers are required to install the Żappka app and activate the Żappka Pay service to access the new store.
The app generates a one-time, point-assigned QR code that needs to be scanned on the reader to enter a Żappka outlet.
Cameras in the store recognise the products picked up by shoppers and charge the appropriate amount. Payment is finalised via the payment card connected to Żappka Pay.
The system guarantees complete privacy and security as it does not identify customers, or memorise images.
Steve Gu, co-founder and CEO of AiFi, said, "Żabka was interested in our unmanned shop solution because it wanted to give its customers the possibility of convenient shopping.
"The implemented solution is the future of retail and we are already looking forward to introducing this technology in other locations across Poland, in partnership with Żabka."
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more Technology news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.