Adnoc Distribution opens Abu Dhabi's first 'walk out' convenience store

Automated checkout technology is similar to the Amazon Go concept, where customers no longer have to queue or scan items

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Adnoc Distribution, the UAE’s largest fuel retailer, has opened Abu Dhabi's first "walk out" Oasis convenience store.

Located in Sheikh Khalifa Energy Complex, the new store offers a cashless and contactless payment system and an artificial intelligence-driven shopping environment.

“Our enhanced Adnoc Oasis store is set to revolutionise how we shop. It makes the experience easier, faster and more convenient than ever before,” said Bader Saeed Al Lamki, chief executive of Adnoc Distribution.

Customers will no longer have to queue or wait to be served by staff and, unlike existing self-service terminals in retail outlets, there is no need to scan items, Adnoc Distribution said on Monday.

They need only to tap in when they enter, using a bank card, Emirates ID, or scan the QR code, pick up the items they need and then walk out of the shop. Payment is taken after the customer leaves the store, either through the payment app or the bank card used to enter the store, with all details of purchase stored in the app or through an e-receipt.

“The consumer landscape has naturally evolved as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and we see how important accessible retail is for our customers. The new concept embodies this very ethos, together with the quality and choice that we are known for,” Mr Al Lamki said.

The concept is similar to Amazon's checkout-free grocery store, Amazon Go, which launched in the US in January 2018 and uses cameras and sensors to track what customers buy, and charges their credit card when they exit. In March this year, Amazon opened a till-free grocery shop in London, its first foray outside the US using automated checkout technology.

Adnoc Distribution has launched a cashless and contactless payment convenience store in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Adnoc Distribution

Every shelf in Adnoc Distribution's autonomous store is equipped with an electronic screen that digitally displays the price as well as any current promotions, which are updated in real time.

Customers will also be able to shop as a family using a single QR code for entry. Once family members have scanned the code and entered the store, they will be tracked as a group and all items taken from the shelves by anyone in the group will be added to a single virtual basket.

Adnoc Distribution had 459 fuel stations across the UAE at the end of September.

Its net profit for the first nine months of the year rose more than 6 per cent to Dh1.68 billion ($457.8 million), while revenue for the nine months through to the end of September rose about 23 per cent to Dh14.7bn.

Updated: November 23, 2021, 4:44 AM