ALISO VIEJO, Calif. and FAYETTEVILLE, Ga., Feb. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — 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 their 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 their 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 over 500+ stores in the US.
Commenting on the launch and partnership, 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 3 to 5 years.”
- UST has developed the Autonomous Store in Box that has entire Retail Backoffice software, Bistro Module, and entire integration services for diverse systems, making shopping frictionless.
- The store uses UST Vision Checkout for large merchandise assortment outside the 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. UST Vision Checkout also has bar code scanning and touch screen functionality that takes care of specific merchandise sections like age-restricted products, frozen assortment, and fruits and vegetables as well as Bistro. Nourish & Bloom has also deployed UST Scan & Go solution for specific events and customer types.
- UST has provided UST Product Box that facilitates quick onboarding of SKUs requiring computer vision training.
- UST Cold Truth provided IoT-based, real-time food temperature measurement at shelf level that improves store operational efficiency.
N&B has deployed UST Store as a Media Digital display solution in their BISTRO section. It has dynamic content display capability and comes with monetization opportunities by providing audience analytics.
- The entire hardware and software design of UST Vision Checkout, UST Product Box, and UST Cold Truth are proprietary solutions of UST.
- The entry to the Autonomous section is enabled by the UST-built Customer mobile app (via scanning a QR Code on the entrance turnstile). The items selected by the consumers are automatically added to a virtual shopping cart tracked via LIDAR camera, and the information is sent to a backend software built by UST.
- UST has also built the complete e-commerce application for N&B market. N& B would be the first autonomous store operator in the North American market that offers Coffee and Bistro Subscription services apart from Delivery subscriptions. Further, the system provided by UST is integrated with robotic delivery systems from DAX robotics for last-mile delivery.
Subhodip Bandyopadhyay, General Manager-Emerging Technology, UST, commented, “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, Georgia) 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.
About Nourish + Bloom Market
Nourish + Bloom Market is the first autonomous grocery store with robotic delivery in the United States and the first African American owned autonomous grocery store in the world. Nourish + Bloom Market is on a mission to make eating healthy and convenient. We believe that everyone deserves to eat healthy.
Nourish + Bloom Market offers locally sourced craft items, such as produce, meats, baked goods, dairy and prepared meals, alongside everyday convenience items with no checkout. The benefit of autonomous shopping, vending, and robotic delivery means you have 24/7/365 access to real food and environmentally friendly products anytime.
All products provided at Nourish and Bloom Markets are made with the highest quality ingredients that are minimally processed.