Retail Sector: Technology and AI
Self Checkout image recognition to prevent theft
US supermarket giant Walmart uses image recognition cameras at checkouts to detect theft in over 1000 stores using tech from Irish company Everseen. The cameras identify when items are put in a shopping bag without first being scanned by a cashier, or at the self-service checkout. The cameras track items rather than people. If an item is spotted being put in a shopping bag before it has been scanned at the checkout, the system can call an employee to "help". It is effective, as shrinkage - the loss of products due to theft or error - had decreased since the technology had been deployed.
- Companies and Tech
- Walmart uses image tech in 1000+ stores
- Asda, owned by Walmart and Sainsbury did not use image recognition cameras in their stores.
- UK's Tesco - unclear
- But now as marriage rates decline sharply, people are isolated at home (i.e. no housewives to shop), both men and women have to do their shopping when they get home.
- With gridlock, how many get home by 6pm or so when workers go home in France and other countries like Germany?
Now self checkout lets workers go home
- French grocer leads - Casino Guichard Perrachon is leaving 200 outlets with self checkout
French Carrefour SA is testing in affluent Paris area with a 24/7 store.
The stores lock their liquor cabinets and close meat counters and cheese-cutting stations
- Packaged goods are open - shoppers select what they want from other departments then proceed to the automated checkout.
Security guards/contractors provide presence and prevent shoplifting.
Traffic is definitely pulled from other "smaller" stores that don't have scale or size to setup self checkout
- Hundreds of shoppers show up now at late-night - comfortable that the stores will not be closed
Legal hurdles against after hours,
- Unions and liberal laws have shut down workers after "family times"
Such rules, the unions say, ensure that workers get needed time off and protect them from exploitation.
Socialist laws that forbid
- Corner groceries
- Warehouse-size hypermarkets (like USA or UK)
- Making staffers stock shelves or sit behind cash registers in the wee hours and on Sunday afternoons.
Workers are STILL needed - Just at their own discretion
- In the US it is common to outsource shelves stocking to "jobbers" - ie representatives that bring in new inventory and manage shelves for FMCG majors