Technology/Services

Urban Value Corner Store to Offer Autonomous Shopping

Juxta's AI computer vision system and shelf sensors allow customers to just walk out
Urban Value Corner Store
Photograph courtesy of Urban Value Corner Store

Urban Value Corner Store (UVCS) plans to offer autonomous checkout at its convenience stores in luxury apartment communities with technology partner Juxta.

Urban Value, McKinney, Texas, operates a small-scale convenience-store concept for high-density apartment buildings. The fuelless, eight-location chain is based in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, regions.

The new technology from Juxta allows anyone to shop at the store with a traditional debit card, credit card or a mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Customers can shop the store just like any other retail space.

The artificial intelligence (AI) computer vision system paired with shelf sensors builds their basket in real time. When it’s time to check out, the consumer can review their basket at the checkout screen or just walk out. They can also have a receipt sent to their phone upon leaving the store.

Juxta

“Our partnership with Juxta enables us to enhance the urban living experience by bringing unparalleled convenience and state-of-the-art, unstaffed retail solutions quite literally to residents’ doorsteps,” said Steve McKinley, founder and CEO of Urban Value Corner Store. “But we’re not only elevating convenience by integrating Juxta’s cutting-edge technology, we are also providing multi-unit property developers with a unique amenity that sets their properties apart in a very competitive market.”

A typical store is about 1,400 square feet with about 1,000 SKUs, McKinley said, and people on average spend less than two minutes inside.

To make a c-store successful without fuel, McKinley said an operator needs to have a purposeful business plan and carry the high-velocity SKUs for what residents want.

“We have very little shrink,” he said. “We have very little spoilage because of the turns that we do. We don't have back rooms in a lot of our stores. Whatever comes in, it goes right on the shelf, we sell it, the next truck comes in.”

This is not the first technology enhancement Urban Value has implemented. The chain began using last-mile delivery robots in Dallas through a partnership with e-commerce provider Vroom Delivery and delivery robot operator Tortoise.

Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted by a human. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around 3 miles per hour. The cart can carry more than 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination. The Tortoise Cart is 100% electric.

Looking forward, the company has plans to expand to other metro markets with the opening of its first location outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in first-quarter 2024, said McKinley. Other potential growth areas could include Denver, Phoenix and major cities in Florida, he said.

 Juxta is a global technology company and micro convenience solutions provider in the convenience retail, micro market and EV charging sectors with autonomous micro-stores.

Based in McKinney, Texas, Urban Value Corner Store offers a quiet and clean place to shop for a variety of food and beverages—beer, wine and sodas, freshly brewed coffee, pastries, snacks and healthy meals. The store offers essential household items, over-the-counter medications, pet snacks and toys, as well as local Texas-made products.

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