- Choice Market, the Colorado-based grocery/convenience store chain, plans to open a location in March that will allow shoppers to select and pay for groceries and other items using a smartphone app, the company announced Thursday. Customers who use the app, known as “One Choice,” will not have to stop at a checkout stand before leaving the store.
- The 5,000-square-foot frictionless store in Denver, which will be Choice’s fourth location, will offer a broader array of groceries than the company’s other stores, including larger produce, dairy and protein selections.
- Choice Market is joining a small but growing number of U.S. food retailers that are offering customers a completely contactless shopping experience.
By opting to adopt frictionless shopping technology in its newest store, Choice Market will be fusing the ability for consumers to avoid stopping at a checkout counter with its reputation for offering fresh food and made-to-order meals in a convenience-store format. The new capability could prove especially attractive as people look to avoid touching surfaces, maintain social distance and speed up shopping trips amid the pandemic.
Choice, which has been working to streamline the digital experience it provides shoppers, plans to stay grounded in the unique offerings it is known for even as it launches its newest location with a heavy dose of technology.
Located on the ground floor of a high-rise apartment building at 939 Bannock St. in Denver, the upcoming store will feature seasonal menus crafted by its own chefs and source the majority of its ingredients and products from local farmers. It will stock items from more than 60 suppliers in Colorado, including Method Coffee Roaster and High Point Creamery, which will both have their own storefronts inside the new location, according to Choice.
In addition to enabling checkout-free shopping, Choice’s app allows customers to order anything the store carries — including alcohol — for delivery in 45 minutes or less via the grocer’s fleet of electric vehicles and bicycles.
Choice Market is among a select group of food retailers that have embraced technology designed to permit consumers to handle all aspects of a brick-and-mortar shopping experience without interacting with store staff or a self-checkout station.
Last year, New York grocery chain Westside Market added scan-and-go technology to one of its locations in Manhattan. In addition, companies such as Standard and Grabango have taken the concept a step further by installing arrays of computer vision cameras in stores, allowing shoppers to simply remove items from the shelf and walk out.
Amazon offers contactless shopping in its Amazon Go and Go Grocery stores, and permits customers at its new chain of Fresh grocery stores to avoid the checkout lane by using camera-equipped carts. Kroger, meanwhile, recently began testing smart carts at a store in Cincinnati.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Choice's frictionless store technology as scan-and-go.