Caper announced today that its cashierless checkout-enabling smart shopping carts will be deployed to the Sobeys chain of grocery stores in North America. Caper will make its debut today at the Sobey’s Glenn Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Unlike other cashierless shopping startups that install lots of cameras in ceilings in grocery stores to keep track of what people grab and keep, Caper moves that technology to the shopping cart. Shoppers scan their items as they put them in the cart and get automatically charged as they leave the store.
The advantage to this solution, according to Caper, is that stores can implement cashierless checkout without needing to retrofit their stores. It also scales to larger stores easily, which is something that is more complex with computer vision-based systems. The Oakville Sobeys is 41,000 sq. ft. and Caper’s press announcement didn’t specify how many carts are going live or any timeline for a rollout across Sobeys 1,500 locations. Caper raised $10 million last month and at that time said it would deploy 1,000 carts in the coming year.
With the Sobeys announcement, Caper becomes the latest cashierless tech startup to publicly announce a retail partnership, something most of them had been unwilling to do until recently. Earlier this month Trigo announced a partnership with (and investment from) Tesco. AiFi launched a cashierless NanoStore for Ahold Delhaize in the Netherlands. Zippin partnered with (and received an investment from) Lojas Americanas in Brazil. And Grabango has partnered with Giant Eagle.
All this momentum heading into the end of the year could translate into tipping point, with rollouts of cashierless checkout stores accelerating in 2020.