In conjunction with Continente, Portugal’s largest food retailer, Lisbon’s autonomous store builder Sensei is opening its doors to the public today. As per the press release, “This is the first autonomous store to open in Europe, apart from two others recently opened by a US retailer in the UK.” Read: Amazon Go.
The store, dubbed Continente Labs is located in central Lisbon and offers users a wait-free, cashier-less experience. Once the Continente Labs app is downloaded, it functions as a digital payment method. The app generates a QR code that allows shoppers to enter the store, grab their items and simply leave. A receipt is then sent to the user moments later.
Shoppers' movements are tracked as they add or remove items, with their basket updated in real-time as a choice is removed from or returned to the shelf. Sensei reports that no biometric or face recognition technologies are employed.
When Amazon launched their Go stores in Seattle two years ago, no one could have imagined that a global pandemic would make the grocery shop more of a chore than it already was. Sensei and Sonae, the parent company of Continente, are banking on this automated experience to draw consumers back into a brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Whether no waiting times and no cashiers will do the trick remains to be seen.
“Since we met Sensei at the end of 2018, we have been extremely excited and committed to together rethink the store shopping experience. It has been a pleasure and a constant learning process for both sides, having solved complex tech challenges and continuously improved our business processes,” comments Sonae’s Frederico Santos. “The opening of this store marks an important milestone in what we are sure to be a long and fruitful partnership between both companies.”