Ahold Delhaize subsidiary Albert Heijn is testing a new store concept that is quite like Amazon Go, without check-out terminals. The 14 sqm store at its headquarters in Zaandam is filled to the brim with technology.
Cameras and sensors
Customers need a debit or credit card to gain access to the store, then they can take all the products they want and walk to the exit. Payment is done automatically, then the door opens. That grab-and-go experience - no more hassle than taking food from your own fridge, says the Dutch chain - is made possible by cameras that can see where you are and which products you take. Sensors in the shelves feel if you take a product or put it back, and the combination of the two can register meticulously which products you really take home.
CEO Marit van Egmond says that in this quickly evolving technological world, retailers have unlimited opportunities to increase convenience for their customers. This new concept however also increases convenience for Albert Heijn itself, a proud CEO says: "As it can be put 'plug and play' on locations with a (temporary) need for a small store, we can now accommodate new living projects where permanent stores are not yet open, but also offices and university areas. A second advantage is that the store can be open 24 hours a day, very convenient for people with very early or very late shopping needs."
The store in Albert Heijn's Zaandam headquarters will be tested for two months by employees only, and is then expected to move to another Dutch location.