Editor & Associate Publisher, Convenience Store News Canada
Supplied: Aisle 24
Aisle 24, the Toronto-based fully-automated, 24/7 cashier-less grocery chain, is opening a new location in Toronto's LibertyVillage, featuring an integrated security solution to safeguard customers and enable franchise owners to manage their operations remotely.
This store at store at 21 Ordnance St. features a new solution that includes surveillance coverage, custom access control, remote control, and analytics designed to assist staff in inventory management and other business operations.
“These are hyper-urban grocery stores, and—given today’s busy lifestyle—people appreciate having this kind of safe and secure convenience in their neighbourhood or right in the building where they live,” says 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.”
Aisle 24 partnered with Smart Installs Inc., a Toronto-based customer security solutions provider, and Axis Communications. Axis provides video surveillance and audio technology, as well as 2N audio/video intercoms, which all stream to an AI-enabled video management system.
Together, the two partners worked with Aisle 24 to create an integrated surveillance solution, customizable access control through a mobile app, and analytics designed to reduce shrink, streamline inventory management, analyze point-of-sale data, and optimize each store’s product mix for maximum sell-through.
“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,” says 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.”
Today, entering an Aisle 24 store is completely touchless. Customers 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 load their cart and then self-checkout at the register kiosk.
The technology is built on an open platform, which allows for deep third-party integration, says 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.”
Aisle 24 has 16 locations in Ontario and Quebec, with plans to launch at least 40 more stores in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax by the end of the year. The long-term vision is to across Canada, as well as the United States, South America, and parts of Europe and Asia.