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IMAGR and Farro bring true checkout-less shopping to NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The way Kiwis shop is set to change. Today local start-up IMAGR has announced its automated check-out solution will be available in Auckland food store Farro. From early 2020, Farro Grey Lynn shoppers will be trialling IMAGR’s artificially intelligent SmartCart baskets and won’t need to queue at checkout.

IMAGR founder and CEO William Chomley says: "The SmartCart works in a similar way to a traditional shopping cart, there’s no need to change the way you shop. The only real difference is you can walk straight out of the store as soon as you’ve collected everything you need."

The checkout-less experience is made possible through IMAGR’s computer vision technology. SmartCart’s contain four cameras, coupled with the world’s most powerful AI vision recognition system. As a result, SmartCart knows what a customer puts in, or removes from, their carts. Self-contained in a robust trolley which is visually indistinguishable from a regular shopping cart, the cameras examine, recognise and account for goods as they are added or removed.

Farro CEO Bryce Howard says embracing SmartCart is another way to further enhance Farro customers’ shopping experience.

"At Farro we like to make grocery shopping an experience, not a chore, and aim to provide our customers with a retail experience that ignites the senses. "By introducing IMAGR’s SmartCart we can elevate the experience even more. Customers won’t need to worry about checkout queues so they can spend that extra time exploring and tasting the finest selection of New Zealand’s food."

The New Zealand announcement comes off the back of IMAGR’s partnership with H2O RETAILING CORPORATION in Japan last month. Kiwis will be the first to experience the game-changing tech on home soil before it kicks off in Japan in May 2020. Chomley’s inspiration behind SmartCart comes from his personal experience waiting in supermarket lines.

"Before IMAGR I lived the corporate life, working long hours and taking short breaks if at all. When I could get away for lunch, I’d find myself standing in a queue trying to buy food, leaving little-to-no time for me to catch some fresh air outdoors.

"That’s when I started thinking of ways to streamline the checkout process. The world is becoming increasingly fast paced and people are more time poor than ever. I wanted to find a way for shoppers to spend more time doing what they love instead of spend time in queues. That’s when IMAGR was born."

Chomley says bricks and mortar businesses across the world are finding this technology attractive because there are low barriers to entry and it’s simple to use.

"Bricks and mortar retailers globally are looking for new ways to create a more valuable shopping experience for customers. SmartCart helps to achieve this without requiring a structural overhaul or physical store changes.

"For customers, using a SmartCart means they don’t have to adjust their shopping behaviour, like they would if they were to use self-scan solutions. They can shop as they usually would with the added bonus of no checkout queue, and no need to worry about the facial recognition involved with other frictionless checkout solutions," Chomley says.

Howard concludes: "We can’t wait for Farro customers to be the first users of SmartCart and trial the IMAGR technology in store. We hope to see the product expand into other Farro stores soon.’’ 

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