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African supermarket giant trials checkout-free grocery shopping

By our News Team | 2021

Shoprite Group unveils its first automated and cashless ‘no queues, no checkout, no waiting’ concept store.

Pan-African supermarket group Shoprite has begun trialling a cashless and checkout-free concept store called Checkers Rush.

The store, which is operating in Cape Town and only available to employees at this stage, may be launched in other African locations if the trial proves a success.

According to Shoprite, Checkers Rush is an automated, cashless ‘no queues, no checkout, no waiting’ concept where staff can grab products and walk out.

And in case you think this sounds like an open invitation to the dishonest, the store uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) camera technology to identify the products being taken off the shelves. It then debits the user’s nominated credit card or bank account upon exit from the store. 

Checkout-free shopping is becoming more common around the world. Amazon, for example, uses it for many of its Amazon Fresh outlets in the United States and elsewhere.

According to retail industry research, current machine-learning algorithms can already assign goods to shoppers as accurately as the average cashier, making checkout-free shopping both practical and economically viable.

Data-driven marketers can gain robust analytics

From a data perspective, retailers’ marketing teams can gain robust analytics on product movements, buying trends and customers’ purchasing behaviour.

The unveiling of the Checkers Rush concept is part of the launch of the Shoprite Group’s new digital business unit, dubbed Shopritex.

Incubated over the past year, the Shopritex unit is combining data science and technology to create more personalised shopping experiences for customers. It has already delivered two innovations – the fast-growing Xtra Savings rewards programme, and Checkers’ popular ‘Sixty60’ on-demand grocery delivery service that promises home delivery within 60 minutes.

The new division’s 250-strong staff complement includes data science, e-commerce and personalisation experts. They work with Shoprite’s IT team to form a combined group of over 1,000 people working to create and implement new innovations.

“We are serious about being Africa’s most customer-centric retailer, and the launch of Shopritex represents our investment in fit-for-the-future precision retail, which is increasingly digital and data-led,” said Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group.

Watch a video about Shopritex here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15aSCJ9pBaI

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.