On August 26, 2021, a next-generation, AI-powered supermarket opened its doors in Osaka. The unique Gyomu Super pilot store, owned and operated by retail operator Kobe Bussan Co., Ltd., is using an AI-based system developed by SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) to make the grocery shopping experience more comfortable and convenient.
The shopping carts in the pilot store differ from those typically found at supermarkets. Each cart is equipped with a dedicated tablet and bar code reader. When customers scan item bar codes, the tablet displays recommendations for recipes and other items that make a good match. The recommendations utilize big data from the data solution services of SoftBank Corp. subsidiary Yahoo Japan Corporation and operating data from Kobe Bussan*.
This data does not include personal data.
Furthermore, when a cart nears a certain shopping section, the tablet displays recommended items close by.
Data on items in the cart link to self-checkout registers, so if customers have already scanned their items, they can pay for their groceries without lining up and going through the checkout process.
AI cameras notify staff when items are out of stock
AI-powered cameras hung above the aisles take pictures of the store shelves and analyze them, and they send automated notifications to store staff when items are no longer in stock. Before going out to restock, staff can confirm shelf status details on tablets so they can bring the appropriate number of items.
SoftBank Corp.'s AI-powered system offers a host of other features to improve the supermarket shopping experience. Using camera data on the number of customers in the store and lineups at checkouts, AI-based analysis can forecast future lineups and checkout register activity by day and time. This predictive data can then be utilized to reduce wait times.
(Original article posted on August 30, 2021)
By SoftBank News Editors