Thursday, September 23, 2021

Middle East’s first cashier-less store: Majid Al Futtaim unveils AI-powered grab-and-go Carrefour City+

UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim has opened the region’s first AI-powered check-out free Carrefour City+ store in the Mall of the Emirates. The new convenience store provides a fast, seamless and contactless experience using 97 AI/ML cameras and cutting-edge scan-and-go technologies in the store.

The store was inaugurated by His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Holding and Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

“Carrefour City+ has been designed to make life easier by using technology to remove friction and enhance the retail experience,” revealed Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “The store represents a huge leap forward for retail in the UAE and region as Carrefour continues to innovate to meet the needs of the present whilst anticipating future shopping trends.”

A first for Carrefour worldwide, City+ deploys artificial intelligence to identify thousands of products with pinpoint accuracy, improving inventory management and simplifying shopping for customers. The store stocks over 1,300 items including snacks, beverages, packaged food and food-to-go meals as well as basic essentials. Store access and shopping payment is enabled via the current MAF Carrefour App. Once inside Carrefour City+, every item picked up by customers will then be automatically added to a digital shopping basket and the purchase will be completed by simply walking out.

Similar to Amazon Go’s convenience store, City+ is equipped with a suite of cameras mounted in the ceiling that are powered by a combination of computer vision and machine learning to follow a shopper’s movement inside the store. These cameras use accurate tracking technology to identify shoppers through their body structure, and do not record any facial recognition or biometric data.

Although cashierless, the store will have staff who will help customers find items on the shelves, restock and perform other operational activities, in addition to answering queries about the app and addressing concerns. Currently, Carrefour City+, which is located near the entrance of the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station link will only allow 10 shoppers at any given point in time, in line with Covid-19 regulations.

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