McGill’s Retail Innovation Lab is the first frictionless store in Canada


Published: 2Jun2022
Retail innovation lab

At a glance, the Couche-Tard in the Bronfman Building looks much like any other. But it is actually an innovative research facility that uses technology to improve our understanding consumer behaviour. Known as the Retail Innovation Lab, a partnership between McGill’s Bensadoun School of Retail Management and Alimentation Couche-Tard, it is the first frictionless store in Canada. At the Retail Innovation Lab, computer vision systems recognize grab-and-go items in real time, and payments are processed digitally, so customers can shop quickly. But while the data collected reflects the behaviour of actual shoppers, the Lab uses blurred personalization models that don’t use facial recognition, record names or log credit card numbers.

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