Opening of the first “ autonomous ” supermarket in Lisbon – a challenge for the Amazon Go experience – Location


Buyers’ purchases are stored in a virtual shopping cart in the Continente Labs store. Image courtesy of Sensei

Portuguese food retailer Continente has opened its first ‘stand-alone’ supermarket in Lisbon, using technology to eliminate the need for checkouts – or queues.

The Continente Labs store in central Lisbon, which opened this week, is powered by Sensei technology that echoes the Amazon Go “ just go out ” experience, which now lives in Amazon’s own grocery stores in the United States. United and London.

Buyers must download the Continente Labs app in order to use the store. On it, they generate a QR code to enter the store, choose the products they want to buy, and leave – without needing to queue or pay in-store. The app then receives a digital receipt for the purchases.

Autonomous technology from Sensei underpins the autonomous technology, bringing together cameras, sensors and machine learning algorithms. Working together, they track shoppers’ movements as they add or remove items from shelves, keeping a virtual shopping cart updated in real time. Sensei says shoppers’ identities remain anonymous while they are in the store, since no biometric or facial recognition technology is used.

Frederico Santos, Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation at parent company Continente Sonae MC, said: “Since we met Sensei at the end of 2018, we’ve been extremely excited and committed to rethinking the in-store shopping experience together. It has been a pleasure and a constant learning process for both parties, having solved complex technological challenges and continuously improving our business processes. The opening of this store marks an important step in what we are sure will be a long and successful partnership between the two companies.

Vasco Portugal, CEO and co-founder of Sensei, says: “The store of the future is a concept of the past, because we have just made autonomous commerce a reality. We pride ourselves on enabling a completely transformed experience for customers and retailers, who seek better use of their time, convenience, and business optimization. We are delighted to partner with an experienced retailer like Sonae and rely on their trust to continue on the path of pioneering innovation in the industry.

Sonae MC was founded in 1985 and today has 1,200 grocery stores in formats ranging from hypermarkets to convenience stores across Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores.

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