In addition to a fitness center, a dog park, and a rooftop pool (complete with a 16-foot LED screen), the Nineteen01 apartment complex in Santa Ana, CA now has its own automated convenience store.
The QuickEats Close Convenience from Aramark opened yesterday and features cashierless checkout technology from AWM Smart Shelf. The store is open to the general public and to shop. Customers just need to download the QuickEats Close Convenience mobile app, which they scan upon entry. A mix of cameras, computer vision and AI track what is taken and the shopper is charged automatically when they exit the store.
Greenwood & McKenzie, the real estate investment firm that owns Nineteen01, claims in the press announcement that this is the first such automated convenience store in Southern California. Which might technically be true in that QuickEats is a convenience store. However, Swiftly has powered cashierless checkout at Zion Market in Southern California since last year.
While Quick Eats may not truly be the first cashierless store in SoCal, it is the first one we’ve heard of being built as an amenity in an apartment complex. It’s basically offering a corner store that doesn’t require human staffing and is more convenient for residents (especially for residents cocooning in place during the pandemic). It’s easy to imagine other large apartment complexes implementing similar stores as a benefit to attracting and retaining residents.
It’s also worth noting that AWM is powering the automation for Quick Eats. There are a lot of cashierless checkout startups out there (Zippin, Grabango, etc.), so it’s worth watching to see if AWM carves out its own niche with this type of residential retail.
I expect we’ll see a lot more cashierless applications pop up in the coming months as the pandemic continues and people demand more contactless options.