Amazon opened its first cashierless Go store in Seattle in January 2018, and the company has been on a roll ever since, working toward its goal of 3,000 automated Go stores by 2021. And, now other stores are following suit, ditching their cashiers for tabletop tablets, mobile point-of-sale devices, and cell phone apps. Here are 20 of those stores.
Walmart Canada has an Amazon Go-style fast checkout lane. It debuted in a newly opened store in Toronto. This store will serve as a prototype for future store renovations. So, how exactly does it work? Here’s how: Customers scan items with their phones. Once they finished shopping, they click the word “checkout” to receive a barcode. The next step is to head to one of the four scanning stations in the fast lane and scan the barcodes. The system will then charge the credit card the shopper has on file. Lastly, just before leaving the store, the customer will need to show their receipt to a Walmart worker standing near the entrance/exit door.
7-Eleven is testing cashierless stores — but not here in the United States. They’re testing out this new concept in Japan. According to a story published in the Nikkei Asian Review, the new stores will use facial recognition to authenticate shoppers and check them out. “7-Eleven’s experimentation with cashierless stores comes shortly after Amazon rolled out its Amazon Go stores… Simply put, Amazon Go stores are turning into a formidable competitor for 7-Eleven stores on several fronts,” including speed, cost and technology, Forbes wrote.
18. Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club decided to test out the cashierless concept last November when they opened Sam’s Club Now, an outlet in Dallas, TX. Customers pay for their items using the Sam’s Club Now app, which is based on the company’s Scan & Go application. You scan the bar codes of items and pay for them — and it all takes place through the app. There’s even a smart shopping list in the app to help you keep track of your purchases.
17. UNO Pizzeria & Grill
UNO Pizzeria & Grill announced back in 2015 that it would be installing Ziosk tabletop tablets in most of its restaurants. “Since we began testing Ziosk technology four years ago, we have seen firsthand how the platform can improve the dining experience for our guests, revolutionized the way we receive feedback from our guests and has given us great visibility into the quality of the dining experience we are delivering to our guests each day,” Louie Psallidas, President and CEO of UNO’s, said in a press release posted on the company’s website.
16. Red Robin
If you’ve ever been to Red Robin, you may have noticed tablets sitting on the table. The kids notice them right away and sit down next to them so they can play games on them. But, what you may not have known is that those tablets also let you pay for your meal right there at the table. There’s just one catch, though: you have to pay with a debit or credit card in order to use the tablet. For those paying with cash, they will need a real live cashier. But, who knows? Some say cash will become obsolete in the future, so perhaps Red Robin will end up getting rid of all its cashiers.
Macy’s recently rolled out the Mobile Checkout feature on its app. Here’s how it works: You download the app for free and join Macy’s free Wi-Fi network. You can then browse and scan items to buy with your phone’s camera and have coupons or sale prices applied directly. After you’re done shopping, you pay for your items via the app with the credit card you have on file. Lastly, you will need to visit special exit counters to verify your purchases, remove security tags, and bag your items.
Walk into any McDonald’s restaurant today and you’ll notice something that wasn’t there a few years ago: ordering kiosks. The kiosks, which are part of McDonald’s “Experience of the Future” initiative, guide you through the ordering process from start to finish. It lets you specify if you’re dining in or carrying out, it lets you browse the menu at your leisure and customize your order, and when it’s time to pay, you can either choose to pay at the kiosk (debit or credit card only) or pay at the counter with a cashier.
13. Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters has been working on reducing the number of cashiers it employs ever since 2011, when the company rolled out its own mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices, which allow customers to check out with just about any representative in the store. According to RIS News, Urban Outfitters had been working with Starmount to develop a mobile POS solution since mid-2010. A statement released by Starmount in June 2010 noted that “the mobile POS solution includes the full functionality of a fixed-base POS system as well as integration with in-store databases.”
Kroger debuted it “Scan, Bag, Go” service at 400 store locations this year. Here’s how the service works:
1. Download the Scan, Bag, Go app on your smartphone.
2. Scan items as you place them in your cart at the store, keeping track of your order total and fueling points as you fill your shopping cart.
3. Bag your items just the way you like.
4. Pay using your smartphone (Tap “pay now” and show your phone to an associate at self-checkout) or the Scan, Bag, Go barcode at self-checkout.
5. Be on your way.
It’s as easy at that!
11. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack
Did you know that all of the stores in the Nordstrom family have people on the floor who can process a transaction at any time? Yep, it’s true! That means no more waiting in long lines. Yay! But, there’s a catch, which we’re sure you knew. It’s just a small one, though. Basically, you can’t make that transaction with cash — only plastic will do. For now, customers paying with cash will have to wait in line for the cashier.
10. BJ’s Wholesale Club
Not to be outdone by Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club is currently testing a service that lets customers scan UPC codes on items as they shop and pay through an Express Scan pay station. It can be used for any product in the store, and customers can change quantities and delete items they don’t want before proceeding to checkout.
According to Supermarket News, Chairman and CEO Christopher Baldwin said that testing is only being done at a handful of stores. “While our current test is still quite small, this is a potentially transformational change for us,” Baldwin said. “We’ll continue to learn from the ongoing test as we work to provide a more convenient, seamless shopping experience for our members.”
Like most other restaurants today, Applebee’s has tabletop tablets. In fact, they’ve had them since 2013. Meanwhile, the company has updated its PrestoPrime and Ziosk tabletop tablets. But, here is something you may not have known: Applebee’s is testing an app that would allow diners to place their orders from home, work, or the road. They would then eat what they’ve ordered at a table inside Applebee’s instead of out of the to-go containers currently in use with its Curbside To Go service.
8. Home Depot
A few years back, Home Depot debuted an array of checkout options designed to get customers in and out of the store fast. “We don’t want anyone to have to wait in line,” Home Depot’s CIO, Matt Carey, told Fast Company in 2012. That being said, here are the checkout options the home improvement store rolled out:
1. Plastic on the Fly: Every Home Depot associate was given a “First phone,” a combo phone/walkie-talkie/scanner outfitted with a card reader and receipt printer so it can accept credit and debit payments anywhere in the store.
2. Scan Now, Pay Later: Not all of the First phones were equipped for mobile checkout, so associates would be able to scan all the items in a shoppers’ cart and hand them a card containing their purchase. The shopper would then give the card to a cashier and pay for their items.
3. Leave Your Wallet in the Cloud: Payment terminals at registers would offer a PayPal Wallet button, which enables customers to pay with whatever bank account, credit card, etc. that’s linked to their PayPal account.
4. See Yourself Out: Self-checkout registers.
Not to be outdone by its key competitor, Home Depot, Lowe’s is also experimenting with getting rid of cashiers. Back in 2011, the home improvement store debuted more than 42,000 mobile POS devices at locations in the United States and Canada. “Our goal is to make home improvement simple for customers and for our employees,” Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock during a conference call, according to RIS News. “Leveraging Apple’s iPhone technology, our employees will check inventory availability, access how-to videos and utilize lowes.com from the aisles of the store.
Like McDonald’s, Wendy’s also began installing ordering and payment kiosks, which has almost entirely eliminated the need for cashiers. A new location that opened in Kilmarnock, VA, just a few months ago has about 4 or 5 kiosks to complete the ordering process from beginning to end. There is just one cashier who is there to assist people unfamiliar with how the kiosks work, and to take coupons or cash if you happen to be paying with those. Once your order and payment is complete, you head to the front counter where you wait for your order. The whole process is very quick.
5. Shake Shack
Shake Shack rolled out mobile order-and-pay-ahead feature in 2016. The popular fast-food spot first began testing the app in October of that year at a location in Midtown Manhattan. Because it was such a success, the company began rolling the app out in other parts of the country. And, the best part of all is you don’t have to wait in a long line anymore.
Curious as to how it works? We’ll tell you. Customers can use the app to order and pay for their food with a debit or credit card. They can even customize their order to their liking. Then, once their order is ready, they’ll receive a text message. All they need to do then is pick it up from a designated pickup point.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson revealed earlier this fall that the company was developing a pick-up only store for customers who want just coffee. Starbucks Pickup, which opened in Manhattan on November 5, 2019, allows customers to order their coffee ahead of time through the Starbucks app and come to the store to pick it up. “Our customers who are on-the-go have told us that connection and convenience are important to them,” Starbucks’ vice president of urban markets, Katie Young, said in a press release, according to BUSINESS INSIDER.
Never heard of Birdcall? Don’t feel bad. We hadn’t hear of it either until recently. But, to bring you up to speed, Birdcall is a chicken chain based in Denver. In fact, all three of its locations are in Denver. Birdcall serves up chicken sandwiches and chicken-and-biscuit breakfasts. And, as of this year, 90 percent of the restaurant’s orders come through its self-serve, self-pay kiosks. Here’s how it works: Customers place their order on a touchscreen kiosk, watch their order in progress on a monitor, and receive a text message when the order is ready.
2. Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse has been testing a mobile app they say “puts control in your hands by letting you dine on your time through simplifying the dining experience.” For now the app is only available in Tampa, FL, at the following select locations:
*St. Petersburg-4th Street
1. Pizza Hut
According to an article published by Cheapism.com, Pizza Hut has been testing touchscreen ordering since at least 2014. Recently, they’ve been deploying self-serve ordering and payment kiosks. But, that’s not all. Then, there’s also the mobile app that lets customers place their orders and pay for them through their mobile device. According to Pizza Hut, they’ve redesigned their app to make it even easier to browse the menu, find deals, and earn free rewards. Here are a few of the app’s new features:
-Reorder in three easy taps
-Track your order with the Pizza Hut Delivery Tracker
-Place future orders up to 7 days in advance
-Find Pizza Hut locations near you for delivery or carryout
-Pay with cash, card or Pizza Hut gift card
Your turn! What stores in your area have gotten rid of cashiers and checkout lanes? Leave a comment below.