A look at the new cashless and queue-less store Checkers is testing in South Africa

 ·18 Aug 2021

The Shoprite Group is turning to data science and technology to improve its stores, with the retailer currently testing several new concepts through a programme called ‘ShopriteX’.

“At the ShopriteX offices above the new Checkers Hyper Brackenfell flagship store next to the Group’s home office, the division’s 250-strong team, including data science, e-commerce and personalisation experts, is working side by side with Shoprite’s IT team, combined a team of over 1,000 people, to create and implement new innovations,” the group said.

ShopriteX was directly responsible for the Xtra Savings rewards programme and Checkers Sixty60, the on-demand grocery delivery service.

One of the new concepts currently being trialled is Checkers Rush – an automated, cashless “no queues, no checkout, no waiting” concept store.

Located at the ShopriteX offices in Brackenfell in the Western Cape, Checkers Rush allows employees to grab products and walk out without paying at a till.

The group said this is possible using advanced AI-camera technology to identify the products being taken off the shelves. Checkers Rush then bills the users’ bank cards upon exit.

“We are serious about being Africa’s most customer-centric retailer, and the launch of ShopriteX represents our investment in fit-for-the-future precision retail, which is increasingly digital and data-led,” said Pieter Engelbrecht Shoprite Group chief executive.

“The next era of growth for us is about precision retailing. ShopriteX will use our rich customer data to supercharge a ‘Smarter Shoprite’ and ultimately fuse the best of digital with our operational strength across the continent,” Engelbrecht said.

Neil Schreuder, chief of strategy and innovation, said that ShopriteX provides an opportunity for the retailer to move towards a more start-up like environment.

“Shoprite to the power of X represents the exponential growth opportunity when you combine the best of data, tech and talent with the scale of the Shoprite Group”.

“Through a culture of innovation and startup-like pace, our teams are making grocery shopping more personalised for customers while removing friction from the retail experience,” he said.

Read: Same day delivery in South Africa: Woolies Dash vs Bottles by PnP vs Checkers Sixty60

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