- New York City supermarket chain Morton Williams has ordered 100 smart grocery carts from Cust2Mate, a unit of Israel-based A2Z Smart Technologies, according to a Wednesday press release.
- The retailer, which has 15 stores in the New York boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx and one store in Jersey City, New Jersey, plans to deploy the touch screen-equipped carts “across city-wide stores,” an A2Z spokesperson said in an email.
- Smart carts have been gaining traction in the grocery industry as retailers display interest in the devices’ ability to automate the checkout process and present customized messages to customers as they shop.
Morton Williams’ decision to order the smart carts from Cust2Mate follows a pilot the regional grocer conducted at a store on West End Avenue, according to the A2Z spokesperson.
The retailer “was impressed with the optimization of their operations, enhancement of customer experience and generation of additional revenue” it observed during the test, the spokesperson said by email.
The companies did not provide specific financial details about their arrangement, but A2Z noted in the announcement that the transaction involves an initial payment as well as monthly subscription fees. In a mid-May press release, A2Z said it had introduced a subscription-based approach to providing its technology to retailers under which it owns the carts and provides hardware and software maintenance services over a multi-year period.
Like smart carts from competitors, Cust2Mate’s carts use computer vision to scan items as shoppers place goods in the basket while walking around a store, allowing people to avoid stopping at a self-checkout stand or passing through a traditional checkout aisle before leaving. The devices also help prevent fraud, provide restocking alerts automatically and offer retailers the opportunity to deliver targeted promotions.
Morton Williams is among a relatively small number of U.S. grocers that have embraced smart cart technology. Amazon offers its Dash Cart smart cart technology in 16 Amazon Fresh stores and five Whole Foods Market locations, while Good Food Holdings has been testing Caper smart carts from Instacart in a Bristol Farms Newfound Market store in Irvine, California. In February, Wegmans said it had started a test in two stores of clip-on smart cart units, which are being provided by Israel-based firm Shopic.
A2Z’s disclosure of its arrangement with Morton Williams follows the technology company’s announcement in mid-May that it is providing 1,700 smart carts to Israeli grocery chain Yochananof. That deal builds on an earlier deal under which Yochananof acquired 1,300 of the units from A2Z.