Sports venues that are the latest testing ground for checkout-free stores

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  • According to a press release, cashierless tech company Zippin will power a checkout-free store opening inside Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California in October. Guests to the arena – the home sports venue for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings – will be able to buy food as well as beverages from the store during sports events.
  • The Worcester Red Sox have tapped Standard Cognition to open a store in its new Polar Park, set to open in April 2021 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The autonomous checkout store will stock drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. It will be equipped with the artificial intelligence and machine vision technology of Standard Cognition.
  • Both stores will allow fans to exit without scanning any products or standing in line to check out. Customers can present a valid credit or debit card to enter and exit or use an app to access the stores and checkout.

Dive Insight:

Convenience stores at sports venues present a logical use case for checkout-free stores. Fans attending sports events typically want to grab everything quickly, whether it is a souvenir, a bag of popcorn, or a beer, and then quickly get to their seats. The stores hold a limited assortment, making it easier to track customers and their activity.

Zippin’s technology uses ceiling-mounted sensors and cameras to provide real-time inventory tracking as well as keep accurate count of the products on every shelf. Standard Cognition uses the same technology to associate customers with the items that they choose without using facial recognition or other biometrics.

Both Zippin and Standard Cognition operate checkout-free stores in San Francisco boasting experiences the same with Amazon Go. Last year, Standard Cognition opened its 1,900-square-foot store under the name Standard Market, which has been renamed Standard Store, and sells food and convenience items. The first store of Zippin also opened last year under limited hours in order to test the technology, and relaunched last June with extended retail operations.