Zippin announced today that has partnered with Golden 1 Center arena in Sacramento to open up a cashierless checkout convenience store inside that arena next month. The store will be open during Sacramento Kings games and concerts.
According to a press release sent to The Spoon, the store will offer a variety of drinks and snacks including popcorn and draft beer. Much like other cashierless convenience stores, shoppers will scan the Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app and/or the Zippin app upon entering the store. Once inside, an array of cameras and shelf sensors will keep track of what people grab and keep, and then charge them automatically upon leaving the store. Those who don’t have the app will be able to enter the store by presenting a valid credit or debit card.
We told you yesterday to keep an eye on locations like stadiums and arenas as new frontiers in food tech. So it’s not a huge surprise to see a cashierless convenience store alongside robot fry cooks and Postmates food pickup lines. Stadiums and arenas like Golden 1 Center are all about speed — getting you food quickly so you don’t miss any action (and so you can come back faster to buy even more). Having a store where you can grab what you want and walk out brings both speed, choice and convenience to the arena eating experience.
The entire cashierless checkout space has seen a flurry of activity just this month. Last week, Trigo raised $22 million for its technology, which is already in use at the Shufersal supermarket chain in Israel. And earlier this month, Caper, which moves the cameras and computer vision part of the cashierless equation into smart shopping carts, raised $10 million.
But Zippin has been busy making news of its own, re-launching its own convenience store in downtown San Francisco and, more recently, getting a strategic investment from Brazil’s Lojas Americanas S.A., and powering that chains Ame Go line of convenience stores.
Given the appetite event venues like Golden 1, Mile High Stadium and Dodgers Stadium have for food retail innovation, I fully expect to see more cashierless convenience store openings in the coming months. This is good news for the cashierless startups as well. These stores will be smaller (not full grocery store size), so they will be cheaper to implement and welcomed by fans who don’t want to wait in line. Most importantly, they will expose lots of people to the concept of cashierless checkout.
Everyone at these venues wins. Except for the losing team.