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Automated Stores

Providing a seamless consumer experience is one hope for bringing back brick and mortar retail, automated stores are being built to do just that.

Overview

Automation technology is about to change how we shop

Retail automation refers to the use of technology to automate retail store operations, from ordering inventory, product display, payment processing, to checkout. Automated stores, also known as smart stores, combine various automation technologies to enhance the customer experience and make in-store operations more efficient.

Retail automation has gone through several waves of early innovation, applied mainly to register operations and checkout. Interest in automated stores has increased in recent years as the technology advanced beyond basic point-of-sale (POS) processes.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

The market size for automated convenience stores in the US estimated to range between USD 561 million to 1.9 billion by 2026

Conservative case

USD 0.6 Bn

Base case

USD 0.9 Bn

Expansion case

USD 1.9 Bn

USD million02505007501,0001,2501,5001,7502,000202120222023202420252026
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

Covid-19 has led to increased usage of automated store technologies and a burst of new further innovations, commercial launches, and the fast-tracking of pilot programs.

  • Eflyn: Made Shopify self-checkout kiosks available to all general retailers in November 2020.

  • Caper: Launched its cashierless checkout ‘Caper Counter’ in October 2020. 

  • AiFi: The number of AiFi-powered stores increased to 14 by October 2020, with more scheduled to open in California and Texas.

  • Standard Cognition: Retrofitted a retail store at the University of Houston in October 2020, and is working with Chartwells to integrate its checkout-free technology in other American and Canadian stores.

  • Grabango: Launched its automated checkout software in a 3,000 sq ft Giant Eagle GetGo store in Pittsburgh in September 2020. 

  • Amazon: 

    • Introduced a new palm payment feature, ‘Amazon One’ in September 2020 across several Amazon Go stores.

    • Licensed its automated store technology to other retailers. 

    • Airport Hospitality Group OTG announced in March 2020 it would feature Amazon Go technology at Newark Liberty International Airport.

  • Mashgin: 

    • Installed a Mashgin touchless checkout system at a Delek convenience store in Texas in August 2020.

    • Installed Mashgin kiosks in Kansas City International Airport in July 2020.

View detail

Market Mapping


Within the automated stores industry, the automated checkout segment has found the most traction as evidenced by the large number of incumbents and disruptors alike. The cashierless checkout trend has already reached convenience stores, grocery chains, and arenas, providing a seamless shopping experience for customers and reducing labour cost. Most players in this space are early stage with products available in the market and going through the process of gaining customers. A smaller number of these startups are at the seed stage and still going through product testing and trials.

Some companies provide both automated stocking and shelving as well as automated checkout solutions. These include industry incumbents like Kroger and Ahold Delhaize as well as startups like AWM Smart Shelf, Focal Systems, Ava Retail, Trigo, and Scandit.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
Automated Checkout
?
Smart Carts
?
Automated Stocking and Shelving
?
Cognition)
Cognition)
Cognition)
Amazon
Walmart
Kroger
Ahold Delhaize USA
H-E-B Grocery
7-Eleven
Instacart
Dollar General
Vontier
Northeast Grocery Inc
Scandit
Stora Enso
Nexite
Trigo
AiFi
Mashgin
Grabango
Shopic
Zippin
Focal Systems
Accel Robotics
Boxy
Everseen
AWM Smart Shelf
SuperSmart
MishiPay
Lifvs
Swyft
Skip
Rapitag
AVA Retail
Pye
Aisle 24
Eflyn
Standard AI (formerly Standard Cognition)
Sensei
Ubamarket
Nomitri
Cadi
Amazon
Kroger
Instacart
Shopic
Veeve
Cust2Mate
Imagr
Nomitri
Flow (formerly WalkOut)
Kroger
Ahold Delhaize USA
Trax
Scandit
Nexite
Trigo
Focal Systems
Everseen
AWM Smart Shelf
AVA Retail
Clerk
ARpalus

The Disruptors


Startups focus on cashierless technology and the unstaffed experience

Most startups in the space emerged in the past five years. They focus largely on the elimination of cashiers through technologies including cashierless stores and smart cart tech to provide a more unstaffed retail experience.

Among the disruptors, Trax, Standard Cognition, and Scandit are frontrunners, having commercialized their products with retailers across various countries. These companies have been successful in raising more funds than their peers (above USD 100 million) while increasing the number of partnerships with retailers rapidly.

Automated Checkout

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Scandit
273
Nexite
100
Trigo
99
AiFi
80
Mashgin
74
Grabango
73
Zippin
44
Focal Systems
42
Accel Robotics
36
AWM Smart Shelf
14
SuperSmart
10
Swyft
6
AVA Retail
Unknown
Eflyn
Unknown
Standard AI (formerly Standard Cognition)
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Stora Enso
Shopic
Boxy
Everseen
Sensei
MishiPay
Lifvs
Ubamarket
Nomitri
Cadi
Skip
Rapitag
Pye
Aisle 24

Smart Carts

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Cust2Mate
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Shopic
Imagr
Veeve
Nomitri
Flow (formerly WalkOut)

Automated Stocking and Shelving

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Trax
1027
Scandit
273
Nexite
100
Trigo
99
Focal Systems
42
AWM Smart Shelf
14
AVA Retail
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Clerk
Everseen
ARpalus

Scandit

Scandit’s data-capturing engine can be installed to any device with a camera, including smartphones, drones, robots, and smart glasses. This app is mainly used by retailers for cashierless checkouts, allowing shoppers to scan a product’s barcode and pay via app. However, Scandit is not only used for self-checkout but also for inventory management, proof of delivery, and asset tracking. As per the company, the app is active in “more than 100 million mobile devices, making billions of scans per year” as of March 2021.

Scandit operates across several core verticals besides retail, including transportation and logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing, leveraging its computer vision technology to automate processes and provide insights to improve customer engagement and workforce productivity.

Scandit has a global presence, with over 1700 global customers, including 7-Eleven, Alaska Airlines, Carrefour, DPD, FedEx, Johns Hopkins Hospital, La Poste, Levi Strauss & Co, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Toyota. The company has offices in San Francisco, Boston, London, Warsaw, and Tampere, Finland, in addition to its Zurich headquarters. Since 2020, the company has more than doubled its annual recurring revenue.

In February 2022, Scandit raised USD 150 million in a Series D funding round led by Warburg Pincus, garnering a valuation of over USD 1 billion. The round was oversubscribed, with participation from Scandit’s existing shareholders, including Atomico, Schneider Electric, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, and Swisscom Ventures. The company plans to use the funding to expand its global team and geographic footprint, with a focus on the APAC region— specifically, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. The investment will also support the company’s R&D efforts in AI/ML and autonomous data capture towards better decision-making and more effective core business processes.

Segment:
Automated Checkout
Total funding:
USD 273.1 million
Competitors:
Trax, Trigo, AWM Smart Shelf, Grabango, AiFi, Standard Cognition
Disruptor Funding History

Automated Checkout:

Scandit
Nexite
Trigo
AiFi
Mashgin
Grabango
Zippin
Focal Systems
Accel Robotics
AWM Smart Shelf
SuperSmart
Swyft
Stora Enso
Shopic
Boxy
Everseen
Sensei
MishiPay
Lifvs
Ubamarket
Nomitri
Cadi
Skip

Smart Carts:

Shopic
Imagr
Veeve
Nomitri

Automated Stocking and Shelving:

Trax
Scandit
Nexite
Trigo
Focal Systems
AWM Smart Shelf
Clerk
Everseen
ARpalus

Incumbents


In-house development along with partnerships remain the most common strategies

Incumbents in this space are well-established leading retailers operating in both the online and offline segments and adopting a diverse range of retail automation in their stores. A large portion of each retailer’s stores still use more traditional systems, with stages of automation being deployed gradually. Exceptions to these incumbents include players such as Amazon, which has created stores called Amazon Go surrounding the automated experience, using in-house technology. Apart from Amazon, 7-Eleven has also trialed its first cashierless store experience, while largest retailer Walmart is also working on a different kind of automated store.

Automated Checkout
Smart Carts
Automated Stocking and Shelving
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment
Amazon
Walmart
Kroger
Ahold Delhaize USA
H-E-B Grocery
7-Eleven
Instacart
Dollar General
Northeast Grocery Inc

Notable Investors


No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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