Innovation That Matters

The NanoStore | Photo source Ahold Delhaize

Portable 'nanostore' opens at Schiphol Airport

Food & Drink

Food retailer Ahold Delhaize is pioneering a new type of checkout-free store – one which can be moved to wherever it is needed

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Spotted: Dutch Food retail group, Ahold Delhaize’s Albert Heijn grocery chain, is piloting a 150-square-foot “nanostore” at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The portable store has no employees and operates on a “grab and go” basis, using technology to track purchases and charge customers automatically. The store has been developed in conjunction with US-based startup, AiFi, and the Dutch bank, ING.

Customers enter the store by swiping their debit or credit card. Once inside, cameras determine the position of customers and sensors keep track of products that are taken off or put back on the shelves. When the customer is done shopping, payment occurs automatically and the door opens. Customers do not have to register in advance or download an app, making the payment system very accessible. 

Schiphol is actually the second location for the AH To Go nanostore. The store was initially set up at Albert Hejin’s headquarters and was only open to employees. The new store is a chance for the company to pilot its digital store technology with consumers in a busy area. 

Marit van Egmond, Brand President of Albert Heijn, points out that advantages of the store include its capacity to be open 24 hours a day, as well as its ability to be moved wherever needed.

Recently, there have been many developments in the concept of checkout-free stores. Some of the innovations in this area already covered by Springwise include a smart grocery cart that lets customers skip the checkout lines and a store that uses robots to scan and pack grocery items, before having them delivered to your door.




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