365 Retail Markets has acquired ‘smart store’ technology company Stockwell for an undisclosed figure, as the company aims to enhance its unattended retail offering.
Based in Oakland, California, Stockwell has pioneered an unattended retail solution which utilises artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision to create fully-managed, customisable ‘smart stores’ for apartments, offices, hotels and similar locations.
Similar to vending machines, Stockwell’s ‘smart stores’ can be stocked with commodities ranging from snacks and lunch options to laundry products. According to the firm, products stocked in the Stockwell store will change over time based on purchases and consumer feedback.
365 Retail Markets operates a combination of micro market, vending, and dining solutions for workplaces and similar locations in several countries. According to a release, the company intends to hire selected Stockwell team members and integrate the technology platform into its 365 Point of Sale systems.
Over 1,000 Stockwell locations are in operation, and 365 claims that it will spend the next few months upgrading the technology for existing customers and locations, while the company’s long-term strategy is to use the patented technology as a base for several new products which will be released in 2021.
Joe Hessling, CEO of 365 Retail Markets, said: “The future of retail is unattended, no doubt. By adding the excellent Stockwell tech platform to the 365-product ecosystem we are moving closer to our goal of a low-cost, frictionless retail experience.
“I am very impressed with the team that built the technology and we are putting our integration plans together so we can continue to dominate our current channel and look to other channels for future growth.”
Krishna Vedula, COO & CTO of 365 Retail Markets, added: “Stockwell has leveraged computer vision and machine learning in a way that will have a dramatic impact on our industry.
“I believe that combined with the 365 platform, in time, we can scale to meet the global demand for frictionless, unattended retail.”
Last year, 365 Retail Markets acquired US-based self-service technology firm Company Kitchen for an undisclosed figure.
Company Kitchen provided a range of workplace food services including company cafés, micro-markets and vending machines, supported by a mobile app which provided nutritional information, reward programmes and served as a payment platform.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020