7-Eleven is piloting a cashierless store at its headquarters in Texas despite the increasing legislative crackdown on the format across the US.
The 700sq ft pilot store is now open to employees, selling a range of the convenience store giants most popular items including snacks, groceries, over-the-counter drugs and non-food items.
To enter the store shoppers must first download an app and sign up before checking into the store using the app and then shopping freely.
Customers will receive a detailed receipt of all their purchases via the app as soon as they exit.
7-Eleven did not unveil details regarding exactly how its system works, but said that a proprietary mixture of algorithms and predictive technology enables the store system to separate individual customers and their purchases from others in the store.
“Retail technology is evolving at a rapid pace and customer expectations are driving the evolution,” 7-Eleven’s chief executive Joe DePinto said.
“Our team is dedicated to continuing 7-Eleven’s legacy of innovation with industry-leading digital solutions. Most recently that has included our award winning 7Rewards loyalty platform, 7NOW on-demand delivery, mobile checkout, and now our new cashierless store.”
Despite the retail industry’s shift towards cashless technology, legislators in the US are seemingly shifting in the other direction, making cashless stores illegal in an increasing number of states.
Last month New York’s city council approved new legislation almost unanimously which will see any retailer which doesn’t accept physical currency face a significant fine.
The ban is designed to prevent what some see as discrimination against low income shoppers with limited or no access to bank accounts, aimed at tackling “the excesses of the digital economy”.
In April 2019 Amazon was forced to begin accepting cash payments in its Amazon Go grocery stores, specifically engineered to do away with tills and physical payments, after the same legislation was approved in Philadelphia, New Jersey and San Francisco.