Home improvement retailer Cainz tests just-walk-out technology

Visualisation of the new Cainz Mobile Store in Honjo, Japan.(Source: Cainz)
Visualisation of the new Cainz Mobile Store in Honjo, Japan.

Cainz has announced that it is testing a DIY shop with AI and camera sensors, called the Cainz Mobile Store, which will be accessible to Cainz employees from 1 September 2022. The store will be located at the Cainz headquarters in the Japanese city of Honjo, about 75 km north of Tokyo, and will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The assortment will initially be limited to 200 items and the floor space to 15.5 m².

The process described by Cainz seems to be very similar to that already known from Amazon Go stores. According to the company, it is an unmanned shop without a cash register, which is entered by scanning a QR code with a mobile phone app at the gate. Cameras installed in the upper part of the shop detect customers' movements. The system then processes the payment automatically via the app. The technology comes from AiFi in the USA and is based on a system of artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms.

If the technology is introduced, the company hopes to see customers spending less time in store as well as efficiencies due to a reduction in manpower, according to a statement.

Cain's Co. Ltd is a home improvement chain with 230 shops in Japan and is part of the Beisia Group.

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