Zabka Nano autonomous stores powered by AiFi outpace industry with 25 live locations
POZNAN, Poland, Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Zabka Group is now the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe after launching 25 AI-powered stores called Zabka Nano. The innovative concept enables quick shopping without checkout clerks, queues, or cash to sell products precisely matched to location and customer demographics. The stores operate in several formats such as standalone container-based vending machines, traditional brick-and-mortar and store-within-a-store points of sale; each leveraging AI-powered computer vision technology created through close cooperation with American technology company AiFi.
Thanks to the skillful use of the latest technologies, the Zabka Group has become the fastest growing food chain in Europe with 1100 traditional stores opened in 2021 and over 7,900 traditional modern convenient stores today in general. At the same time, it participates in the technological revolution with the development of autonomous shopping experiences to improve customer convenience and store operations. In partnership with AiFi, Zabka Group created the Zabka Nano autonomous concept and opened the first store in June 2021 in Poznan, then quickly expanded to 25 locations across Poland within six months. Through an integration with the Zappka mobile application, which is already used by over 8 million users, it co-created an ecosystem of digital services for enhanced customer convenience.
"Zabka is the European leader in creating modern convenience solutions that meet the needs of modern customers. We focus on providing unique and highly personalized shopping experiences, connecting the digital world with the environment. We want to redefine the shopping speed. In 2021, w opened 25 autonomous Zabka Nano stores. However, we do not stop there – we will launch about a dozen in the first quarter of this year," says Tomasz Suchanski, CEO of Zabka Group.
Zabka Nano stores are already tested by customers in 25 locations in 6 cities in the country. They can be used by customers in Gdansk, Krakow, Piaseczno, Poznan, Sopot and Warsaw. They operate in a wide variety of locations, among others: in city centers, railway stations, underground stations, universities or large-format stores.
"We are constantly working to develop and improve the unique concept of Zabka Nano. We focus on its flexibility – we are able to open more autonomous outlets both in highly trafficked locations, such as strict city centers or underground stations, as well as in large-format stores. We are also one of the first in the world to develop a concept that allows you to enter the store using a payment card," says Tomasz Blicharski, Managing Director of Zabka Future.
Since the launch of the first Zabka Nano store, the interest in the concept has been growing. Several thousand people have already experienced the convenience of shopping in the autonomous Zabka Nano stores. And the high level of NPS – above 80 – confirms that the experience exceeds consumer expectations.
Zabka Nano uses innovative methods of authorization and payment for shopping. The first stores were connected to the chain's mobile app, which allowed both entry and payment for purchases. Currently, the store-within-a-store model allows customers to access the store using any payment card. The shopping itself takes only a moment – the journey invites customers to seamlessly grab products from the shelf and exit the store when ready, no checkout needed. The innovative platform by AiFi used in all stores is a camera based solution leveraging computer vision and advanced machine learning to recognize products removed from shelves, and automatically finalize the payment when customers exit the store. The system does not use biometrics or facial recognition to identify customers to guarantee full privacy and security.
"The deployment of 25 stores in six months with Zabka demonstrates the customer centric values of AiFi to understand customer needs and build flexible solutions that scale. We are excited to further strengthen our partnership with Zabka and revolutionize the shopping experience with the rollout of more Zabka Nano stores powered by AiFi," says Steve Gu, CEO and Co-Founder at AiFi.
The product mix in Zabka Nano stores is tailored to the specifics of the location and customer profile. Depending on the format, it covers from 450 to up to 1500 products. In each Zabka Nano store are products of Zabka private label products, including among others nutritious and healthy snacks, juices and smoothies, ready meals and freshly ground coffee from a coffee machine.
Autonomous Zabka stores are launched under Zabka Future Business Incubator, which combines three elements: managing and searching for innovations, transforming them into new products and services and commercializing them. The project also fits perfectly with the strategy of Zabka Group, which assumes the implementation of actions aimed at maintaining climate neutrality – the Zabka Nano uses only the equivalent of green energy for its activities.
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