UAE’s shopping mall, retail and leisure operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has opened its first contactless and checkout-free store in the region using its artificial intelligence-enabled “Simply Walk Out” strategy.
Carrefour City+ in Mall of the Emirates allows consumers to buy stuff from the convenience store and walk out without having to queue and pay at the cash register. This is the first time MAF has opened a physical outlet that has no store-staff interaction. The store is also a first for the French grocery brand Carrefour worldwide.
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“Carrefour City+ has been designed to make life easier by using technology to remove friction and enhance the retail experience,” said Hani Weiss, chief executive officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
Autonomous, contactless and eCommerce shopping options are gaining popularity worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic. Due to a shift in consumers’ shopping habits, the UAE’s retail eCommerce market went up by 53 per cent year-over-year to $3.9 billion in 2020, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As for MAF’s new AI-enabled outlet, customers can access the store using their mobile phones via the MAF Carrefour App. Every item the customers pick up will be automatically added to a digital shopping basket and the purchase will be completed by simply walking out of the shop.