On December 13, Japan’s supermarket chain TRIAL launched its first new AI supermarket in Japan, and the “TRIAL Quick Onojo Store” was officially opened.

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TRIAL Quick Onojo Store is the No.1 store. “Quick”, with new business model, is a small shop operated with the philosophy of “saving housework time” as convenience stores and pharmacies. The store is sited in Fukuoka and has a business area of around 950 m2. TRIAL proposes “recommendation everyday shopping” to pursue consumer proposals and upgrade new buying experiences based on customer’s behavior.

With the slogan of “Circulation Information Revolution”, TRIAL Quick aims to transform the circulation technology and apply several technologies of IT companies in the store. In addition to those technologies, TRIAL Quick Onojo Store introduces the following three services in Japan, including AI smart freezer, nighttime self-Service management and cashless payment technology and realizes IoT’s most advanced store through smart retail AI applications.

AI smart freezer

TRIAL Quick cooperates with Matsushita Co., Ltd. to install the retail AI solution in the existing refrigerators. The AI solution acquires images with the built-in camera in the freezer, uses Panasonic’s own Detioning technology to automatically identify the inventory and the actions and attributes (age, gender, etc.) of the customers focus on the products, and then obtain the “non-purchasing data” not shown in the POS data.

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By using the store information in those display boxes, the store supplements products in appropriate time, optimizes the products on the shelf in combination with the customer attributes and the contents displayed in the shopping channel, and provide the information about places where the sales are improved to the store owners and the manufacturers. (The Hanshow smart store solution can realize the out-of-stock management in combination with  AI image recognition).

Nighttime self-service store

“TRIAL Quick Ohno Store” is operated 24 hours a day and it is Japan’s first nighttime self-service store operated between 22o’clock and 5 o’clock. The customers can purchase the commodities by scanning the QR code of the special App and using the TRIAL membership at the entrance.

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TRIAL Quick store applies 12,000 Hanshow ESLs for full categories products and the ESLs can set the price according to the demand and supply and simultaneously  adjust the price in real time without manual operation. The closing expiration products can be automatically priced in the pre-set time and then be sold at the lower price. (TRIAL Quick is Japan’s first AI smart supermarket that Hanshow’s ESLs are applied and more ESLs will be applied. Hanshow has provided ESLs and smart store solutions in 5,000 stores in 40 countries and regions around the world. Hanshow’s ESLs have over 95% market share in China, covers more than 50% of top 100 retail companies, and rank first in the ESL industry).

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Meanwhile, the TRIAL Quick Ohno Store abandons the manned cashiers and imports the self-service cashiers. Combining Hanshow’s ESLs and several self-service cashier Apps in the store, the TRIAL Quick Ohno Store reduces employees by 40%, significantly reducing the labor costs.

※In order to prevent adolescent from purchasing alcohol and tobacco, there is still one employee in the nighttime store.

Cashless settlement

By using the J-Dbitt service operated by Japan’s electronic settlement promotion agency, you can directly recharge the account with a cash card issued by the financial institution in the TRIAL’s dedicated settlement membership card recharge machine. Customers can recharge the prepaid card directly with the cash card in the ATM without withdrawing the cash. The TRIAL Quick Onojo Store applies the HOUSE prepaid machine for the first time.

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In order to reduce the queueing, the TRIAL Quick Onojo Store, following アイランドシティ(shop name), realizes the “smart purchase experience” by introducing 200 linked AI cameras and applying the shopping cart with tablet settlement function installed in the tablet PC and TRIAL’s independently developed product trend analysis system. In addition, in conjunction with the store in the store, the digital camera library displays the unique coupon information by linking with the supermarket inside the TRIAL Quick Onojo Store.

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The smart phone-specific application “TRIAL Shopping App” adds the new function of “Use the smart phone Go”, where customers could pay by scanning the product with the smart phone.