Croatian retail chain Konzum has launched what it says is the region's first smart store, where shoppers’ purchases are automatically charged to their debit or credit card without the need to check out.
Konzum’s store is one of a growing number of entirely cashierless shops that use a blend of advanced sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Outside of Croatia, major retailers like Aldi, Carrefour and 7-Eleven are working on this technology.
In Croatia, customers can enter the Konzum SMART store in Zagreb, scan a QR code via the mobile app, select items and simply walk out, Konzum said in a press release. Payment is automatically processed through the registered debit or credit card, with invoices sent to the app and by email.
"This store confirms our leadership role in the market, delivering maximum efficiency for customers and the market while focusing on future development," said Fabris Perusko, CEO of Fortenova Group, Konzum's parent company.
The store employs computer vision technology with 150 cameras for precise item monitoring and billing accuracy, a partnership with AiFi, an AI tech leader.
The concept also encourages joint shopping, for example, if a married couple comes to the store, the items each of them chooses from the shelf are billed together on one bill.
"This is just another step forward in the digitisation of Konzum's operations. The technology used for this store concept is based on computer vision for recognition, and the space is covered by 150 cameras, thanks to which we can monitor which items the customer took from the shelf and charge only those that he took with him from the store. The goal was to provide customers with a faster and simpler purchase," said Jozo Dzakula, director of the IT department at Konzum.
Konzum specialises in fresh, local and healthy food options, offering over 1,700 items in the smart store.
The company has already introduced payment with cryptocurrencies, first online, and then in physical stores, and customers in stores can also pay via the KEKS Pay application.