7-Eleven tries out an Amazon Go-like store
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven has announced it is testing a “cashierless” concept at its corporate headquarters in Irving, TX.
The 700-square-foot, non-traditional store currently stocks some of the chain’s most popular food, drink and non-food products. The pilot program is only open to company employees who use 7-Eleven’s mobile app to check into the store, pay for items and receive their receipts.
“Ultimately, our goal is to exceed consumers’ expectations for faster, easier transactions and a seamless shopping experience,” said Mani Suri, 7-Eleven senior vice president and chief information officer, in a statement. “Introducing new store technology to 7-Eleven employees first has proven to be a very productive way to test and learn before launching to a wider audience. They are honest and candid with their feedback, which enables us to learn and quickly make adjustments to improve the experience.”
The company says it is using proprietary “algorithms and predictive technology” to identify the market baskets of individual customers.
Mr. Suri sees the development of the cashierless store as part of 7-Eleven’s broader corporate strategic objectives.
“This in-house, custom-built technology by 7-Eleven engineers is designed for our current and future customers,” he said. “We continue to innovate, and coupling fresh, innovative, healthy food options with a frictionless shopping experience could be a game-changer.”
The pilot store is being held up by 7-Eleven as one of many ways the convenience store brand is innovating. Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, pointed to the company’s 7Rewards loyalty platform, its 7NOW on-demand delivery and mobile checkout pilot as examples of digital innovations that are transforming the experiences of customers across the U.S.
The cashierless prototype is not the first for the 7-Eleven brand. The Japanese-owned chain began testing a similar concept in Tokyo in 2018 as a result of a severe labor shortage in the country.
Interest in cashierless technologies, particularly in the convenience channel, has increased since Amazon.com launched its Go convenience store concept to the public in 2018.
- 7-Eleven Pilots Cashierless Store Concept – 7-Eleven, Inc./PRNewswire
- Will 7-Eleven’s cashier-less store take hold? – RetailWire
- Grocers develop their own tech responses to Amazon Go – RetailWire
- Where will Amazon go with its cashier-free concept? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think there is a real future for cashierless stores in the convenience store channel? Will 7-Eleven’s commitment to digital technologies be a point of competitive difference for the banner going forward?