IT strategy to support “smart store giant” trial–Retail AI, President Nagata

The trial company is developing a “trial” supercenter (a format that collects groceries, clothing, and housing-related products on one floor) with more than 250 stores, mainly in the Kyushu region. The company has installed a shopping cart “smart shopping cart” equipped with a self-checkout function and a “retail AI camera” that detects the movement of people and shelves in the store. The data collected by these IoT devices is shared with about 260 manufacturers and wholesalers via the system platform “MD-Link”. In recent years, IT utilization in stores is often seen, but a major feature of the trial is that retail AI, a group company, develops IoT devices and systems by itself. Founded in 2018, the company has about 50 engineers in the country and about 300 engineers in China. We asked Mr. Hiroyuki Nagata, President and CEO, about the ingenuity hidden in the company’s equipment and efforts beyond the company’s group.

Mr. Hiroyuki Nagata, President and CEO of Retail AI (Source: Retail AI) The current domestic retail market is 140 trillion yen, and it will be halved in 30 years due to the shrinking market due to the declining population and the growth of EC (electronic commerce). Will be done. In addition, it is said that there is “waste, unevenness, and muri” whose cost is not optimized, which is equivalent to about 30% of the market size. Regarding the use of AI, Mr. Nagata said, “Trial stores are not in the city, but in rural areas where it is difficult for people to gather. Even if sales are good now, if we do not respond to changes in the times, there is no doubt that it will be 10 to 20 years from now. Therefore, it is important to reduce the “waste, unevenness, and muri” of distribution by using AI. If you reduce the extra cost, you will be able to offer products at a lower price. ” .. Here are some examples of using IoT devices in stores. First, the self-checkout function of the smart shopping cart eliminates the need for customers to wait for the checkout, and the trial can be operated with fewer cashiers than before.

The smart shopping cart started operation before Corona, but it is said that it can avoid crowding and cash delivery due to waiting at the cash register, and it also complies with the “new lifestyle” (Source: Trial Group) Shopping using the smart shopping cart The flow is that the customer scans the dedicated prepaid card with the barcode reader of the cart and registers the member information. Then scan the barcode of the item with a reader and add it to the cart. Finally, when you pass through the payment gate, a receipt will be issued automatically. When the barcode of the cart is read by the scanner attached to the payment gate, the purchase data is transferred to the server. The cart also distributes coupons and recipes and recommends products based on the customer’s attributes and purchase history registered on the prepaid card. For example, dressing may be recommended to customers who have added lettuce to their carts. After introducing the cart, the frequency of visits to the store has increased by 13.8%.