Checkout-free concepts set for sports stadium stores

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 24 September 2019

Two of the leading checkout-free innovators in the US, Standard Cognition and Zippin Market, will deploy their technology at concession stores within sports stadiums.

Standard Cognition partnering with Worcester Red Sox

Both San Francisco based companies are set to deploy their solutions over the next nine months. Standard Cognition, which operates a cashier-less store in the city, is partnering with Worcester Red Sox, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox to deploy its autonomous checkout technology at Polar Park. This is set to open next April. A store offering snacks, drinks, and souvenirs will optimise Standard Cognition’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Customers will be able to shop and pay without scanning, waiting in line, or stopping to check out.

Source: Polar Park

Zippin Market partnering with Sacramento Kings

Zippin Market, which also operates a store in San Francisco, is partnering with the Sacramento Kings to open a checkout-free store at the Golden 1 Center. Launching next month, customers will be able to purchase food and beverage items including popcorn, draft beer and snacks drinks without joining any checkout lines or using self-scanners. Zippin uses AI technology with cameras and sensors to identify who bought what. As Zippin also keeps an accurate count of all the products on every shelf in the store, shoppers will be able to use its app to browse what is available in the store from any location.

Queue busting

Given the long queues often associated with stores and concessions at many sports stadiums, this technology has the potential to significantly enhance the customer experience. With stores seeing several trading peaks during events, they also represent a key test for the technology. Both stores will also enable customers to pay using traditional payment methods. This space has seen significantly more activity since the launch of Amazon Go last year. Other companies testing solutions include Israel-based Trigo Vision and Grabango. The latter is testing various solutions through its strategic partnership with US-based supermarket operator, Giant Eagle.

Shifting processes and store design

While we are several years away from seeing these solutions deployed at scale, many of the solutions can be retrofitted within existing stores and be deployed in large format supermarkets. However, industry adoption will be driven by both cost factors and consumer acceptance of the technology; privacy and data security concerns are increasingly front of mind. This type of technology is driving major change in the in-store checkout process, beyond the current deployment of self-checkouts and self-scanning solutions. This has the potential to radically shift store design and shopper engagement, particularly with front-of-store, impulse-driven categories.

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