The store chain Giant Eagle and Grabango, a technology provider for existing brick-and-mortar stores, announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to create a technology that will allow customers to pay for their purchases without having to stand in line and wait to checkout at the cash register.
According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, waiting in the checkout line is the top complaint among U.S. grocery shoppers. Giant Eagle and Grabango stated in a press release that they want to provide a remedy for this consistent pain point through their frictionless solution.
With Grabango’s checkout-free technology, customers will enter the store and immediately start shopping as they normally would – without any hurdles, such as turnstiles or costly memberships. The more advanced checkout-free system automatically keeps a running total of the items each shopper selects.
“Giant Eagle is committed to advancing technologies that create an improved, stress-free shopping experience for our customers while still protecting their privacy,” said Giant Eagle’s Director of Corporate Communications, Dan Donovan. “In Grabango, we have found a partner who shares our commitment and who can help us bring this enhanced experience to life.”
Grabango’s platform has been installed at a pilot Giant Eagle location and multiple executions of the payment technology are being optimized, including an app-based solution and another that allows the customer to pay with any tender they choose.
The solution, according to the store chain, does not use facial recognition technology, but instead utilizes computer vision and machine learning to track shopped items. All data is anonymized to protect customer privacy.
Giant Eagle, founded in 1931, is one of the nation’s largest food, fuel and pharmacy retailers with approximately $8.9 billion in annual sales. The grocery chain has more than 460 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland, and Indiana.
“Giant Eagle has been a fantastic partner on this groundbreaking project,” said Will Glaser, Grabango’s CEO. “We are excited to be announcing our first checkout-free partnership with a major U.S. retailer. Together, we are offering a technology that is seamless and equitable for all.”
Grabango was founded in 2016 by Will Glaser, former CTO and co-founder of Pandora Radio. The company has raised $18M to date from top venture capital firms and is headquartered in Berkeley, CA.
The Grabango platform includes a fault tolerant, edge computing network that accurately processes millions of simultaneous transactions. The system places no limits on who can enter the store, what can be sold there, or how the shelving is configured.