- Choice Market has entered a strategic partnership with AI and computer vision company Adroit Worldwide Media (AWM) to provide the convenience retailer with frictionless checkout technology, the companies announced last week.
- Choice said AWM’s technology will help it scale its Mini-Mart automated stores at non-traditional venues like universities and “hospitality properties” across the country. Choice Markets did not respond by press time to clarify if the AWM systems would also replace the checkout technology in current stores.
- In addition to its fixed-location stores, Choice Market experimented with a portable store that it debuted at the Renewal 2023 music festival in Buena Vista, Colorado, in September.
While Choice Markets has established itself as an urban c-store retailer, it clearly sees small, automated and mobile mini-stores as its best chance to scale.
Choice said the partnership with AWM will help it “rapidly scale its automated Mini-Mart nationwide.” Building out these locations has been a goal for the retailer since last year, though the company’s plan to open five new Mini-Marts by the end of 2023 did not come to fruition. The retailer also announced a new round of funding last March, though didn’t specify a dollar amount.
Choice Market said in its partnership announcement that it’s targeting locations like multi-family developments, campuses, EV charging spots, festivals and more. The company debuted a small, completely cashier-free location on The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in late 2022.
“With the infusion of fresh funding, Choice is poised to scale across multiple verticals in a big way, while working with AWM to build a best-in-class digital commerce platform,” the announcement said.
The companies debuted a “quick drop unit” showcasing the partnership at the National Retail Federation show earlier this month.
Choice Market and AWM aren’t the only companies looking to place automated micro stores in non-traditional locations. Tech company Juxta has developed a portable, automated store, while companies like Amazon and Zippin are adding frictionless checkout technology to stadiums across the U.S.
Choice Market operates five c-stores in the Denver, Colorado, area where it’s based.
Aliso Viejo, California-based AWM provides business automation and insights for customers in the retail, industrial supply and healthcare sectors.