Nourish + Bloom Market, the first African American owned autonomous grocery store in the world, has partnered with UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, to launch its first frictionless grocery store in the United States. UST has provided an end-to-end solution and project management services for implementing a Hybrid Frictionless Check-Out Store, enabling Nourish + Bloom Market to drive its store operations at ease in the long run.
The new store is one-of-a-kind, resulting from the unique collaboration of three advanced technology companies, Hitachi Vantara, SHEKEL Brainweigh and UST, who have partnered to create an innovative and advanced system for the retail world. The partnership with UST will allow Nourish + Bloom Market to deploy more than 500 stores in the US.
Jilea Hemmings, Founder and CEO of Nourish + Bloom Market, said, “The idea of the store occurred to us during the pandemic. We wanted to provide a solution for customers where they wouldn’t have to wait in line or touch anything while checking out. With UST’s help, we have successfully created a Hybrid autonomous technology to offer that solution and combat food insecurities in underserved communities. We are confident that this technology will change how customers shop in the next three to five years.”
Subhodip Bandyopadhyay, General Manager-Emerging Technology, UST, said, “The store uses UST Vision Checkout for large merchandise assortment outside autonomous store. UST Vision Checkout is a self-checkout POS that uses Computer Vision to identify SKUs. Along with this, Voice and Gesture AI technology leads to a 3X faster checkout experience for customers of Nourish & Bloom. Hybrid autonomous store technology uses Intel’s Edge optimized technology infrastructure and uses multiple Microsoft technologies including Azure Cloud.”
Safety, Nutrition and Sustainability are the cornerstones of Nourish + Bloom Market’s business model. Customers can now shop without checkout lines and have 24x7x365 access to real food and environmentally friendly household supplies. Delivery robots named Nourish and Bloom can also deliver products in temperature-controlled compartments right at the customer’s doorstep. UST’s innovative digital solutions have helped design a quick and safe retail shopping experience.
Nourish + Bloom Market’s first store (located at 300 Trilith Parkway, Fayetteville, GA) is now open. The store is approximately 1500 sq. ft (autonomous section, HYBRID section, Bistro, back-office facilities) and stocks more than 1500 SKUs. Nourish + Bloom Market offers items such as produce, meats, baked goods, dairy and prepared meals, alongside everyday grocery items with no checkout. Anchored in the Nourish + Bloom market is the Bistro offers freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner items, including sandwiches, salads and healthy rice bowls. The highest priority is given to local brands to reduce the carbon footprint.
Commenting on the store opening, Keith Pickens, General Manager & Retail Domain Leader, UST, mentioned, “UST Frictionless Solutions’ hybrid autonomous store will help N&B scale faster, cheaper and better and provide significant ROI necessary for further expansion. We are proud to partner with N&B in its endeavor to become the most loved Emerging Retailer in North America.”
The automated product recognition in Nourish & Bloom Market WIWO store is performed by Shekel Product Aware Technology (PAT), based on patented IoT Load sensors, AI models and Machine Learning algorithms. SHEKEL’s product identification technology enables accurate and real-time product recognition technology. Hitachi’s 3D LiDAR technology enables monitoring customers and linking products to their shopping cart without compromising customer privacy.