Shoprite to open Africa’s first tech enabled self-service store fostering precision retailing

SOUTH AFRICA – Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer and a trendsetter in the sector is testing the first of its kind cashier-less store in the region dubbed Checkers Rush.

The automated, cashless “no queues, no checkout, no waiting” concept store is under trial by its employees within the company offices in Cape Town, above the new Checkers Hyper Brackenfell flagship store.

Using advanced AI camera technology to identify the products being taken off the shelves, Checkers Rush bills users’ bank cards upon exit. 

In pursuit to bring a solution to the constant pain point in retail stores of having long queues at the checkout, Shoprite is emulating global leaders in the space such as Amazon who pioneered the concept through its Amazon Go chain.

This is one of the numerous digital innovations under development in its newly launched ground-breaking digital business hub, ShopriteX which is combining data science, technology and innovation with its operational strength to provide increasingly enhanced customer experiences.

“The next era of growth for us is about precision retailing. ShopriteX will use our rich customer data to supercharge a ‘Smarter Shoprite’ and ultimately fuse the best of digital with our operational strength across the continent.”

Pieter Engelbrecht – Shoprite Group CEO

Incubated over the past year, ShopriteX aims to create more personalised shopping experiences for customers.

“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, Shoprite Group CEO.

ShopriteX already delivered two industry-leading innnovations – Xtra Savings, South Africa’s fastest-growing rewards programme with 20 million members to date, and Checkers Sixty60 the first on-demand 60-minute supermarket grocery delivery service in South Africa. 

The launch is part of the group’s strategy to grow its ecosystem of value for consumers and monetise new and diverse revenue streams.

This further represents a challenge to rival chains as Checkers aims to grab a bigger slice of the high-end food retail market.

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“The next era of growth for us is about precision retailing. ShopriteX will use our rich customer data to supercharge a ‘Smarter Shoprite’ and ultimately fuse the best of digital with our operational strength across the continent,” Engelbrecht said.   

The division’s 250-strong team, including data science, e-commerce and personalisation experts, is working side by side with Shoprite’s IT team (combined a team of over 1 000 people) to create and implement new innovations. 

 “Shoprite to the power of X represents the exponential growth opportunity when you combine the best of data, tech and talent with the scale of the Shoprite Group.

“Through a culture of innovation and startup-like pace, our teams are making groceries shopping more personalized for customers while removing friction from the retail experience,” said Neil Schreuder, Chief of Strategy and Innovation.

Innovations such as Sixty60 and Xtra Savings have seen the team scoop up 17 innovation awards in the last year, and Schreuder says the Group is “just getting started.”

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