- Retail artificial intelligence company Standard AI has agreed to acquire self-checkout vendor Skip Checkout for an undisclosed amount, according to an emailed announcement.
- The deal makes San Francisco-based Standard AI the only company to combine self-checkout and AI-powered autonomous checkout into one integrated package for retailers, according to the announcement.
- With hiring and retention continuing to present challenges for c-stores, automation lets retailers optimize labor efficiency while improving the employee experience, experts say.
In addition to its cutting-edge frictionless checkout offering, Standard also wants to offer front-end technology that is more widely used and familiar to c-store operators. Scan-and-go programs and self-checkout kiosks are popping up across the industry, and are increasingly being used together to offer more options to consumers looking to get in and out of stores quickly.
The deal also helps Standard offer a pathway for its self-checkout customers to eventually add fully frictionless technology.
By combining the two companies’ offerings, retailers will also be given even more options for relief from their current labor challenges, Jordan Fisher, CEO of Standard AI, said in the announcement.
“Autonomous retail has seen exponential growth, and in the next five years we’ll see thousands of AI-powered stores across the world,” he said.
In addition to self-checkout kiosks, Salt Lake City-based Skip Checkout lets customers scan items with their mobile devices as they take them from the shelves. Store associates are notified when a Skip user arrives, allowing them to monitor the purchases. Once a customer scans their items, they pay through the app and leave.
Standard AI’s checkout-free platform, meanwhile, lets customers enter a store, take what they need and leave without waiting in line or stopping to scan or pay.
Per the agreement, Standard AI will integrate Skip’s cloud-based point of sale (POS) with its back office ecosystem to give retailers greater control over price, discounts, promotions and more. This will help streamline implementations, especially for stores that have a fixed register alongside self-checkout or autonomous capabilities, according to the announcement.
Partnering retailers will have the option to still use Skip Checkout by itself, or alongside Standard AI’s Vision OS system, which collects data via in-ceiling cameras and uses it to offer c-stores strategic business insights.
Later this year, Standard AI will also introduce its first platform connecting self-checkout with autonomous retail, according to the announcement.
“By integrating with Standard AI, we are now taking our kiosks to the next level and working on solutions that will go beyond them as we create the future of autonomous checkout,” Chase Thomason, founder and CEO of Skip Checkout, said in the announcement.
Founded in 2014, Skip Checkout has made its way into a variety of c-store retailers, such as Global Partners, Enmarket, Cruizers, Huck’s and High’s. Meanwhile, Standard AI has piloted frictionless checkout technology with Circle K and recently announced the addition of retail insights to its platform.