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Circle K opens automated store in Tempe; AI company opens Arizona office

Circle K automation.jpg
Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 14:00:55-04

PHOENIX, AZ — Circle K is welcoming the public to its first store with touchless, autonomous checkout.

At the store, which is located at 2196 E. Apache Blvd. in Tempe, customers will be able to buy items without ever going to the cash register. After signing up on the already existing Circle K app, people can just take what they want off the shelves and walk out the front door.

Circle K’s parent company, Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., is making a large investment into frictionless technology. The company created its first cashier-less store in Montreal on the campus of McGill University earlier this year and now it is working with Silicon Valley-based Standard AI to retrofit existing Circle K stores with this new technology.

"We are continually exploring ways to introduce technology that empowers our teams and shows our commitment to be a leader in retail innovation," Deborah Hall Lefevre [bizjournals.com], Couche-Tard's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "In Montreal, we built and opened our first frictionless location. In Arizona, we are going the next step by retrofitting existing stores with autonomous self-checkout systems to gain further insights into how frictionless technology can both make it easy and save time for our customers and allow our team members to focus on delivering a great experience.”

Standard’s technology uses a network of cameras mounted throughout the store and it is designed in a way to work around Circle K’s existing layout, fixtures, lighting, inventory management systems and visual merchandising plans.

Read more of this story from the Phoenix Business Journal.