Kroger is testing new smart shopping cart technology in the Cincinnati area that eliminates paying at the checkout.
For the past few weeks, Kroger quietly rolled out the new carts at its Madeira, Ohio, store, branded “KrogGo.” The technology allows shoppers to load up their cart with groceries, then pay by swiping their credit or debit card at the cart, then head for the parking lot.
Using artificial intelligence, the technology will enable shoppers to assemble their order without having to scan items as carts begin to recognize a box of cereal or pound of apples, according to Caper, the New York firm behind the technology.
The carts include a built-in scale to measure items sold by weight and a built-in screen that can deliver shopping list recommendations, promotional offers, and wayfinding capabilities.
Customers bag their own items using store bags or reusable bags they bring.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for autonomous checkout technology is driving grocers and retailers to innovate and adopt new technologies that keep shoppers safe and streamline checkout,” said Lindon Gao, CEO and co-founder of Caper.
Besides Kroger stores, the Cincinnati-based grocer operates several regional supermarket chains in 35 states, including Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Mariano’s, Fry’s, Smith’s, King Soopers, QFC and others. The company has nearly 2,800 stores and employs nearly 500,000 workers.
Kroger officials confirmed the pilot project but offered no further comment. The company, which frequently tests new technology in limited stores, is still testing its “Scan, Bag, Go” pilot in a few stores, which allows shoppers to use personal scanners as they shop. That program still requires a stop at the checkout to pay.
For the latest on Kroger, PG, Fifth Third Bank and Cincinnati business, follow @alexcoolidge on Twitter.