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06/06/2022

No Scan Checkout Coming to 7,000-plus Circle K and Couche-Tard Stores

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Customers in 7,000 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores will soon experience near-instantaneous check-out via computer vision.  

Convenience retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. said it will deploy more than 10,000 Mashgin Touchless Checkout Systems branded as “Smart Checkout,” to over 7,000 of its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores during the next three years. The AI-powered self-checkout system will improve customer checkout times as much as 400%, driving customer experience forward while allowing store staff to focus their time on helping customers. 

[Learn more: Solve Labor Shortages and Enrich the Customer Experience With Self-Checkout]

The agreement with Mashgin launches the global deployment of the pioneering system, and represents one of the largest scale expansions of computer vision-powered checkout technology to date, the company said. It builds upon the successful deployment of Mashgin across nearly 500 Circle K locations in the U.S. and Sweden since 2020, as well as at Couche-Tard’s retail innovation lab store on the campus of McGill University in Montreal.

Referred to as “Smart Checkout” in Circle K and Couche-Tard stores, the compact countertop device fits into the existing store layout. It uses computer vision to recognize items presented from virtually any angle and instantly ring them up in a single transaction. Customers place their items on the checkout system, which uses cameras to ring up everything in under a second. Shoppers don’t need to download an app or find and scan barcodes; they simply put items down, pay as they normally would, and are on their way in as little as 10 seconds – eight times faster than traditional self-checkout.

“We’re committed to investing in and scaling technology that sets a new standard for convenience with our customers and advances our mission to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day,” said Magnus Tägtström, vice president, global innovation at Couche-Tard. “The Smart Checkout system powered by Mashgin’s game-changing technology shortens lines, improves the customer experience and frees up our teams to focus on helping our customers. We look forward to introducing this new platform to stores across our network.”

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“Mashgin’s core technology represents a major breakthrough in the world of artificial intelligence,” said Mashgin chief technology officer and co-founder Mukul Dhankar. “By reinforcing computer vision models with three-dimensional data, we are able to reach 99.9% accuracy when ringing items. This innovation also allows the system to easily differentiate between different sizes of items with a similar appearance, and also makes it flexible enough to recognize grab-and-go foods like pizza or roller grill items that may look slightly different each time. Another key component to our technology is its ability to learn new objects in less than a minute and sync that data across stores, making it possible to set up a new store in under an hour.”

Surveys of first-time Mashgin users at deployed Circle K locations show that 80% of those customers prefer Mashgin to traditional forms of checkout and self-checkout. Recent updates to the system to allow cash use, fuel purchase and key loyalty programs like Sip & Save have driven customer adoption. At some Circle K stores, Smart Checkout has already become customers’ favorite way to transact.

“We’ve been hearing great feedback from our customers in the stores where Smart Checkout has been introduced, and it’s easy to see why Mashgin’s platform is incredibly simple to use and highly intuitive for customers,” said Alex Miller, EVP operations, North America, and global commercial optimization for Couche-Tard. “Through this agreement, I am convinced that we will scale a great tool that makes it easy for our customers and team members, saving time and putting our customers and people first in our global operations.”

Mashgin and Couche-Tard are both actively recruiting multiple roles to help innovate retail experiences. To apply for jobs at Mashgin click here, or to apply for jobs at Couche-Tard please click here.