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Southern convenience retailer to provide checkout-free shopping

Mapco will pilot app-based, checkout-free shopping in Tennessee.

Mapco will begin adding checkout-free services to its stores later this year.

The regional convenience store chain is partnering with Silicon Valley technology startup Grabango to add checkout-free operations to its locations, starting with two Tennessee stores by fall 2022. Shoppers will skip the traditional checkout line, and instead scan the Grabango app when they’re done shopping. Receipts will be delivered in the Grabango app for a seamless shopping experience.

The Grabango solution does not use facial recognition technology. Instead, it utilizes computer vision and machine learning to track shopped items. All data is anonymized to protect customer privacy, and there are no special shelves, carts, baskets, or turnstiles required to enter or shop.

One of the Mapco stores offering checkout-free shopping will be a Nashville location featuring Mapco’s newly-designed format that presents a holistic "store of the future" experience. This will mark the first-time shoppers in Nashville have access to checkout-free technology. Mapco operates across Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Several other grocery and convenience chains are also utilizing Grabango checkout-free technology. For example, in November 2021, Circle K retrofitted six existing stores in the greater Tucson, Ariz. area with technology from Grabango.

In December 2021, BP began working with Grabango to retrofit 10 convenience store locations across its network with Grabango’s platform. BP will retrofit store locations throughout the country, including seven ampm stores in northern California and three Amoco locations in western Pennsylvania. The Grabango-equipped ampm and Amoco stores will be live to shoppers in mid-2022. The project is part of a broader BP initiative to reach net-zero by 2050 or sooner.

And in 2019, grocery chain Giant Eagle installed Grabango’s platform installed at a pilot Giant Eagle location with multiple executions of the technology being optimized, including an app-based solution and another that allowed the customer to pay with any tender they choose. 

“Our team is constantly thinking of ways to always improve Mapco’s customer experience,” said Frederic Chaveyriat, CEO at Mapco. “We’re committed to helping our guests take a better break, where they can refresh and recharge at their pace with quality products and services at convenient prices that are more relevant to them, and Grabango’s shopper-focused offering combined with their proven success in the market, is why we’ve chosen them to help us execute on our shared vision.”

“Grabango and Mapco share a vision to simplify things for the on-the-go consumer,” said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. “We are excited to bring checkout-free shopping to a new region. As Grabango enters its fifth major metro area, we are pleased to be able to offer this free service to Mapco’s customers.”

Mapco operates more than 330 company-owned convenience and fuel retailing stores in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi. Mapco and its subsidiaries also operate a fuel logistics business comprised of more than 100 tankers and a fuel wholesale and fleet group serving more than 125 accounts. Mapco is a subsidiary of COPEC, a leading South America-based retail company.

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