Fung Retailing Group’s Circle K Showcases First AI Checkout Experience in Hong Kong
- On March 13, 2019, Fung Retailing Group’s convenience-store chain, Circle K, rolled out Hong Kong’s first AI-powered checkout solution using image recognition.
- The checkout counter can recognize products without a barcode, RFID or packaging.
- This pilot project represents a first step for Fung Retailing Group and JD.com to create smarter and more convenient retail.
Fung Retailing Group’s Circle K convenience-store chain has unveiled an AI-powered in-store checkout solution. The launch is a result of the strategic partnership between Fung Retailing Group and JD.com signed in 2018. The AI-powered checkout solution is the first AI checkout using image recognition technology in Hong Kong.
Customers can complete the AI-powered checkout process in seconds with three simple steps:
- Place products on the smart checkout counter
- Press the A.I. Recognition (A.I.R.) button on the cashier screen to scan the products
- Make payment with an Octopus card, a stored value payment card originally designed for use for mass transportation but which is now used for many payment types.
The checkout counter can recognize up to five products within one second with an accuracy rate of over 97%, reducing the overall in-store checkout time by 30%, according to Fung Retailing Group. Leveraging image recognition technology, the checkout counter can recognize products such as drinks, tissue, snacks and even fresh bread without a barcode, RFID or packaging – over 500 stock keeping units. Staff can add new products into the system by using the same checkout machine to scan the products, and the database is updated within a day. This technology is currently installed at the A.I. Retailing Zone in two Circle K stores in Hong Kong:
- Shop 126 1st Floor, liberté place, No. 833 Lai Chi Kok Road, Kowloon
- Shop Nos. 9-12 on Ground Floor and Unit Nos. 9-11 on First Floor, Excelsior Plaza, Yee On Building, No. 26 East Point Road, Hong Kong
As technology continues to play a critical role in transforming the retail landscape, retailers who are able to capitalize on this trend will have a competitive edge. In particular, this kind of technology gives grocery and convenience-store retailers the ability to eliminate friction in the shopping process for frequent, nondiscretionary purchases. This pilot project represents a first step for Fung Retailing Group and JD.com to create smarter and more convenient retail.