Walmart Inc. is testing a new store concept that would eliminate checkout lines and cashiers, as well as a personal shopping service, Recode has reported.
The new store is a project under Store No. 8, the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer's startup incubator, and is dubbed Project Kepler, Recode said, citing sources close to the matter. The store, which would be similar to the Amazon Go concept that the Seattle-based ecommerce giant has yet to open to the public due to technical issues, “aims to reimagine the in-store shopping experience” by using such technologies as computer vision.
As for the shopping service, Code Eight, a new Walmart subsidiary, began testing it with “high-net-worth urban consumers” to give them product recommendations and allow for purchases via text message, which doesn’t sound entirely different from the text-to-order service introduced by Ahold Delhaize USA’sPeapod grocery ecommerce subsidiary. Recode said that household items are delivered for free within 24 hours, while other purchases take two business days. To take the hassle out of returns, shoppers can have them picked up from their homes at no charge.