Ahold Delhaize Tests Checkout-Free Micro Store

Ahold-Delhaize Launches Automated Supermarkets

Ahold Delhaize is testing out a checkout-free micro store under its Albert Heijn grocery banner in the Netherlands.

AH To Go is a 150-square-foot cashierless store that features “grab and go” technology from the Santa Clara, California-based startup AiFi, creator of the NanoStore. It is located in front of the support office at Ahold Delhaize’s corporate headquarters in Zaandam, and will be tested by employees over the next two months before moving to another Netherlands site later this year.

“Technological innovations follow each other at breakneck speed and offer endless opportunities. Convenience for our customers comes first,” Albert Heijn Brand President and CEO Marit van Egmond said in a statement, according to Supermarket News. “This latest concept not only makes shopping very easy due to its autonomous nature, [but also] this ‘plug and play’ store can be placed at locations where there is a temporary need for a small store, from offices or university campuses to residential areas under construction that do not yet have shopping facilities. A second advantage is that the store can always be open, which is useful for people who are on the road very early or very late.”

The AiFi software is able to identify items removed from the shelves, while cameras and shelf-weight sensors can determine a shopper’s purchases.

“We developed NanoStore with advanced computer vision and sensing technologies to enable automated checkout,” noted Steve Gu, CEO and co-founder of AiFi, which unveiled NanoStore in January at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in Manhattan. “Cameras see where you are in the store and associate product items to your virtual basket. In addition, in-store sensors keep track of products that are taken off or put back on the shelves. Multiple sensing modalities work like a symphony to accurately decipher who is grabbing what, instantaneously. As a result, customers can enjoy ultra-convenient and delightful shopping with lightning speed.”