Grabango announced today that its cashierless checkout technology is now publicly launched at grocery retailer Giant Eagle’s GetGo Cafe+Market. This is the first commercial launch for Grabango’s technology.
Giant Eagle announced its partnership with Grabango last July, though we didn’t know at that time how the technology would be implemented. The first location to use Grabango will be the GetGo Café+Market in Fox Chapel, which serves the Pittsburgh, PA area. At just 3,000 sq. ft, the GetGo space is smaller than a full-sized grocery store, which is an important detail since the cashierless checkout concept still faces questions around scalability and affordability.
To use the new cashierless checkout, GetGo customers will need to download the Grabango app for iOS or Android and connect it to a payment system (like a credit card). Once all that’s done, customers just enter the store like normal — there’s no check in or special turnstile to scan the phone. Shoppers grab what they want and cameras throughout the store keep track of what is picked up and put back (the system does not use facial recognition). When customers are done, the app generates a special code that is scanned on the way out which automatically applies the charges and sends a receipt.
Grabango is the latest cashierless checkout company to announce a public installation. Last week Mastercard announced a partnership with Accel Robotics for a cashierless checkout solution that will be used at Circle K and Dunkin stores. Zippin recently transformed part of a Azbuka Vkusa grocery store in Moscow into a cashierless experience. And earlier this year Amazon, which pioneered cashierless checkout, opened up its Go Grocery store in Seattle, which features the grab-and-go technology.
With the pandemic still in effect throughout the world, we will likely see more announcements like these in the coming months. Grocery stores have already put measures like plexiglass shields and pay terminal sterilizing in place to help protect customers and cashiers from the virus. Removing the human-to-human checkout process altogether is a natural extension of those protections. With the influx of grocery e-commerce those cashiers could be kept at work picking e-commerce orders and doing customer service.
In today’s press announcement, which was emailed to The Spoon, Grabango said that it has been deploying its checkout systems to “the world’s largest grocery and convenience store chains since early 2019,” so this is definitely not the last we’ve heard from them.