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06/02/2022

Circle K to Roll Out 'Smart Checkout' Machines to 7,000 Stores

The project builds on the successful deployment of Mashgin across nearly 500 Circle K locations since 2020.
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Couche-Tard logo

LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. will deploy more than 10,000 Mashgin Touchless Checkout Systems, branded as "Smart Checkout," at more than 7,000 of its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores during the next three years.

The artificial intelligence-powered self-checkout system will improve customer checkout times by as much as 400 percent, according to Mashgin.

The agreement represents one of the largest scale expansions of computer vision-powered checkout technology to date. It builds upon the successful deployment of Mashgin across nearly 500 Circle K locations in the U.S. and Sweden since 2020, as well as at Couche-Tard's retail innovation lab store on the campus of McGill University in Montreal, Mashgin stated.

The Mashgin Touchless Checkout System is a compact countertop device that fits into the existing store layout. It uses computer vision to recognize items presented from virtually any angle and instantly ring them up in a single transaction. Customers place their items on the Mashgin Touchless Checkout System, which uses cameras to ring up everything in under a second. There is no need to download an app or find and scan barcodes; shoppers simply put items down, pay as they normally would, and are on their way in as little as 10 seconds.

"We're committed to investing in and scaling technology that sets a new standard for convenience with our customers and advances our mission to make our customers' lives a little easier every day," said Magnus Tägtström, vice president, global innovation at Couche-Tard. "The Smart Checkout system powered by Mashgin's game-changing technology shortens lines, improves the customer experience and frees up our teams to focus on helping our customers. We look forward to introducing this new platform to stores across our network."

Surveys of first-time Mashgin users at deployed Circle K locations show that 80 percent of those customers prefer Mashgin to traditional forms of checkout and self-checkout, stated Mashgin.

"Mashgin's core technology represents a major breakthrough in the world of artificial intelligence. By reinforcing computer vision models with three-dimensional data, we are able to reach 99.9 percent accuracy when ringing items," said Mukul Dhankar, Mashgin co-founder and chief technology officer. "This innovation also allows the system to easily differentiate between different sizes of items with a similar appearance, and also makes it flexible enough to recognize grab-and-go foods like pizza or roller grill items that may look slightly different each time."

Mashgin has processed over 40 million transactions to date and can be found in more than 1,000 locations.

"We've been hearing great feedback from our customers in the stores where Smart Checkout has been introduced, and it's easy to see why. Mashgin's platform is incredibly simple to use and highly intuitive for customers," said Alex Miller, executive vice president of operations, North America, and global commercial optimization for Couche-Tard. "Through this agreement, I am convinced that we will scale a great tool that makes it easy for our customers and team members, saving time and putting our customers and people first in our global operations."

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,800 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, as well as in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland.

Founded in 2013, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Mashgin has struck deals with other convenience store retailers. As Convenience Store News reported, Delek US implemented the technology, and four ampm stores are testing Mashgin technology.