Circle K Ramps Up Self-Checkout Service

More than 2,000 stores in North America now offer the option.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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LAVAL, Quebec — A little more than a year after it began rolling out self-checkout technology at its Circle K convenience stores in North America, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is seeing high consumer adoption.

In June 2022, Couche-Tard partnered with Mashgin to install Mashgin Touchless Checkout Systems, branded as "Smart Checkout," at more than 7,000 of its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores over a three-year period.

Today, Mashgin kiosks have now been deployed at 2,200 Circle K locations in the United States and Canada.

Since the rollout began, Couche-Tard has reported that 40 percent of transactions run through smart checkout, with many stores processing more than 50 percent of eligible transactions through Mashgin. Circle K shoppers can use the kiosks to check out packaged goods, grab-and-go food items, drinks, fuel purchases, and use the Sip and Save loyalty program, according to Mashgin.

[Read more: Alimentation Couche-Tard Selects IT Partner for Global Modernization Efforts]

Couche-Tard President and CEO Brian Hannasch highlighted the partnership during the company's earnings call for the first quarter of its fiscal yea4 2024 in early September. "We utilize our Smart Checkout tool to improve labor efficiency at our stores, as well as enhancing the customer experience," he said.

"In North America, we now have nearly 2,700 Smart Checkout units in around 2,200 stores. At these sites, about 40 percent of our in-store payment transactions are running through the Smart Checkout," Hannasch said. "More importantly, the equipment makes payment faster and easier for our customers, as well as making it easier for our store team members to focus on serving them."

Mashgin processes more than 1 million transactions a day across all customers. Across all Mashgin units, not just Circle K, median transaction times are 16.5 seconds from start to finish — up to 400 percent times faster than conventional checkout, according to Mashgin.

"Mashgin is striving to create the best checkout solution for shoppers, and Circle K has been a great partner in driving an outstanding customer experience with the Smart Checkout machines at their stores," said Jack Hogan, vice president of strategic partnerships at Mashgin. "The amazing testimonials we received from Circle K customers show that the kiosks help create a convenient and fast shopping experience."

Laval-based Alimentation Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and mobility, operating in 24 countries and territories, with more than 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and it is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China.