- Tech company AiFi is bringing its "NanoStore" format to Loop Neighborhood Store this month in Silicon Valley, creating the first cashierless Loop store, according to a press release.
- The Loop location will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a Shell gas station in Campbell, California and will carry 150 SKU’s.
- Both companies expect to launch more cashierless Loop stores.
Loop’s cashierless "NanoStore" will have a similar feel to an Amazon Go store, but with greater emphasis on fresh products instead of packaged goods. Loop Neighborhood Stores do feature premade items, from wraps to chicken tenders, but its shelves are also stocked with produce like lemons and bananas. The company says its cashierless store will focus on these healthier options rather than traditional convenience store snacks.
Loop's product selection aligns with shoppers' shift from unhealthy snacks as they lean more into a healthy lifestyle. California, in particular, was ranked the healthiest state in the U.S. by US News in May 2019. That, mixed with the tech-savvy consumer base in Silicon Valley, make this location potentially more viable as the c-store tests the new cashierless format.
The focus on fresh products could be a differentiator from Amazon Go, which doesn’t offer loose produce because of the difficulty in detection and friction it may add to the shopping experience. But AiFi has made it work so far. The company partnered with Ahold Delhaize’s Albert Heijn chain earlier this year to bring its NanoStore concept to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport where shoppers use a debit card to enter the store and verify purchases against their receipt before leaving. This frictionless technology aims to cut down on lines and make the shopping experience more seamless.
Many other c-stores are adding more fresh products to their selection to compete with grocers while grocers have been focused on scaling down and ironing out any wrinkles in the shopping experience. Loop’s new store, in partnership with AiFi, appears to be trying to combine both strategies to compete in the two spaces.