- Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2021 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count.
Bringing a fully frictionless experience to several existing Arizona stores in Tempe and Tucson is the next step by Circle K parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard to incorporate technologies that make the customer journey easier and more convenient. Earlier this year, Couche-Tard created its first frictionless location in its store on the campus of McGill University in Montreal. Here the company is also collaborating in a live retail lab to explore how frictionless technology affects shopper behavior and improves the customer experience.
Beginning the week of Oct. 11, a retrofitted Circle K store in Tempe is offering customers a fully autonomous checkout experience using technology developed by Standard AI. Inside the store, a network of cameras is mounted at strategic locations to accurately associate customers with the products they pick up, working with the store’s existing layout, fixtures, lighting, inventory management systems and visual merchandising plans. Customers’ purchases are recorded on the Circle K mobile app. In the coming weeks, more retrofitted Circle K locations will roll out in Arizona as the company explores different fully autonomous checkout platforms.
“We are continually exploring ways to introduce technology that empowers our teams and shows our commitment to be a leader in retail innovation,” said Deborah Hall Lefevre, chief technology officer for Couche-Tard. “In Montreal, we built and opened our first frictionless location. In Arizona, we are going the next step by retrofitting existing stores with autonomous self-checkout systems to gain further insights into how frictionless technology can both make it easy and save time for our customers and allow our team members to focus on delivering a great experience. At all times, the privacy of our customers' data is our highest priority.”
Moving forward, the company will monitor and evaluate lessons learned from these frictionless technologies and experiences, both from customer and team member feedback, as it progresses in its innovation work and network deployment.
Circle K is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Laval, Quebec. Couche-Tard operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,200 stores, more than 7,000 in the United States covering 48 states.