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Aisle 24 automates store security with AI

Aisle 24
The cashierless Aisle 24 community format in its latest store located in Toronto, Canada. (Photo: Business Wire)

A fully automated, cashierless Canadian grocer is supporting its store expansion with an advanced in-store security system.

Aisle 24 has deployed an integrated security solution from Axis Communications at its recently opened store in Toronto. The new solution includes surveillance coverage, custom access control, remote control and analytics designed to assist staff in inventory management and other business operations.

Aisle 24, which is open 24/7, is completely touchless. To enter the store, customers can open the app on their smartphone as they approach the Bluetooth-enabled 2N intercom at the store door, which then displays an “unlock” message and releases the door. Once inside, they can load their cart and then self-checkout at the register kiosk.

To keep the customer experience as natural and secure as possible, Aisle 24 engaged Toronto-based Smart Installs Inc. and Chelmsford, Mass.-based Axis Communications to provide a new in-store security system. As a result, Axis provided video surveillance and audio technology, as well as the 2N audio/video intercoms – all streaming to an AI-enabled video management system.

Together, Axis and Smart Installs created an integrated surveillance solution, customizable access control through a mobile app, and analytics designed to reduce shrink, streamline inventory management, analyze POS data, and optimize each store’s product mix for maximum sell-through.

“These are hyper-urban grocery stores, and—given today’s busy lifestyle—people appreciate having this kind of safe and secure convenience in their neighborhood or right in the building where they live,” John Douang, co-founder and CEO of Aisle 24. “By emphasizing safety and security while accumulating business intelligence, we’re offering franchise owners the ability to monetize empty space and build a profitable business that places far fewer demands on their time than running a traditional grocery store.”

 Toronto-based Aisle 24 has 16 locations in Ontario and Quebec, with plans to launch at least 40 more Canadian stores in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Halifax by the end of the year. In the future, Aisle 24 plans to continue expanding its 24/7, cashierless grocery stores across Canada, as well as the U.S., South America, and parts of Europe and Asia.

 “As we enter a new era of streamlined retail experiences, investing in state-of-the-art, integrated solutions is key to providing dynamic levels of safety and security, while bolstering overall business intelligence,” said Keith D’sa, country manager, Axis Communications. “With the confluence of applications and uses that today’s security technology provides, our goal is to keep customers and assets secure, while also allowing Aisle 24 to leverage data to inform day-to-day and long-term business strategies.”

 “We recommended Axis and 2N technology because they’re built on an open platform, which allows for deep third-party integration,” said Ken Oki, managing director for Smart Installs. “That was important for Aisle 24 since it gives them a wider range of options for current and future customization.”

Customers are returning to stores – and want connected shopping
As with every other threat to the survival of the store, COVID-19 did not prove the end to brick-and-mortar retailing. However, the pandemic has served to hasten the development of a seamless store environment where connected technologies provide customers a faster, easier and more personalized experience. By enhancing security and inventory tracking with AI, Aisle 24 is helping to ensure it can continue capitalizing on the broader connected shopping trend.

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