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Safe shopping practice during a viral pandemic outbreak. A young girl wearing a protective mask and gloves in a grocery store.

Source: Alex Potemkin / Getty

Several months in, we’re still at war against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has forced people and companies to rethink business and life as we know it. A major grocery chain, for example, is testing a fully contactless checkout method — apparently, you’d literally just leave when you’re done shopping. Here’s how it works, according to FastCompany.com:

“Giant Eagle, a company that owns 216 supermarkets and more than 250 convenience stores, largely in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, is launching checkout-free technology from the startup Grabango first at a store in Pittsburgh. When customers choose to shop with an app, the tech uses cameras to track what they’re buying. When they’re ready to leave, they just scan a code in the app and walk out the door.”

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Giant Eagle has been considering contactless payments for at least a few years now, the site goes on to note:

“’It became pretty clear to us that in China, in particular, the concept of contactless shopping was taking hold and emerging as a real thing,’ says Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet. Then, in early 2018, Amazon Go opened its first store to the public. ‘That raised everyone’s eyebrows and we said, Oh my God, this is serious,” she says. “We’ve got to get going.’ The company partnered with Grabango to begin developing the technology. The store in Pittsburgh is the first true retrofit of an existing store with this type of technology in the U.S., the companies say. The tech will soon roll out at a larger 100,000-square-foot store nearby, to be followed by others.”

“I think for at least the foreseeable future, it will be a hybrid of traditional and contactless,” Karet adds.

Thoughts?

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