Advertisement
12/09/2021

Fuel/convenience retailer to roll out automated checkout

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Image
Shoppers at select BP Amoco stores will be able to skip the queue.

BP is retrofitting select convenience stores across its network to provide checkout-free shopping.

The company is working with checkout-free technology provider Grabango to retrofit 10 convenience store locations across its network with Grabango’s platform. Grabango is free for customers to use and allows shoppers to skip the line altogether. There are no special shelves, carts, baskets, or turnstiles required to enter or shop.

To get started, shoppers download the free Grabango app and shop as they normally would. The Grabango system keeps a running tally of items picked up, so there’s no need to scan each one on the way out. The Grabango solution does not use facial recognition technology. Instead, it utilizes computer vision and machine learning to track shopped items. All data is anonymized to protect customer privacy.

BP will retrofit store locations throughout the country, including seven ampm stores in northern California and three Amoco locations in western Pennsylvania. The Grabango-equipped ampm and Amoco stores will be live to shoppers in mid-2022. The project is part of a broader BP initiative to reach net-zero by 2050 or sooner.

Many convenience and grocery retailers have piloted cashierless stores since Amazon pioneered the format with its Amazon Go store model in January 2018. Regional supermarket retailer Giant Eagle has been piloting Grabango technology for the past two years, with multiple executions of the technology being optimized, including an app-based solution and another that allows the customer to pay with any tender they choose.

In another recent example, Circle K retrofitted six stores in the greater Tucson, Ariz. area with checkout-free technology from Grabango. checkout-free shopping to six stores in the greater Tucson, Ariz. area. And this was not Circle K’s first effort at retrofitting a store with a frictionless shopping platform.

In October 2021, Circle K began offering an artificial intelligence (AI)-based, fully checkout-free shopping experience in a Tempe, Ariz. store. The retailer partnered with retail computer vision platform provider Standard AI to open its retrofitted Tempe location, featuring a frictionless checkout system designed to allow shoppers to completely avoid waiting in a checkout line and deliver accurate receipts in minutes. The retailer worked with Standard AI to retrofit the Tempe location without ceasing store operations or altering its layout.

“We are always looking for innovative solutions that bring a more seamless experience to our customers,” said Lisa Blalock, VP of marketing, mobility & convenience Americas for BP. “We believe this technology will positively change the scale of retail and create a wave reaction in the marketplace. Today it’s just our first 10 locations. Tomorrow, there is potential to bring Grabango’s technology to our entire network.”

“It’s exciting to team up with BP to delight their shoppers with how easy checkout has become,” said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. “This is a unique opportunity to leverage our offering to usher in the future of retail for BP. By working together, we will deploy our largest rollout ever, spanning multiple brands and regions. We know shoppers will appreciate the option of a more streamlined checkout at Amoco and ampm locations where Grabango technology is available.”