Watasale Store, India’s first Autonomous Retail Store opens in Kochi, inaugurated last week, the store doesn’t feature any salesperson or cashiers at the counters. Instead, it offers shoppers a unique ‘checkout-free’ experience by the help of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, sensor fusion and computer vision. With just a week in operation, Watasale have an offer of funding and strategic partnership from one of Japan’s largest corporate group- The Mitsui & Co ltd.
Watasale store is located at the Grand Souk Mall in Kochi, and is modeled on the same technology that Amazon has used in its first checkout-free store in Seattle. The core technology is same.
At Watasale Store shoppers have to download the company’s Android app or iOS app depending on the user before entering the store. By scanning the OR generated on the app will help them get past the gate of the store. At present, they are having two racks on either side of the store selling item like biscuits, soft drinks and chocolates to soap and talcum powder. The shoppers can take whatever they like and walkout of the store. 5 minutes of walking out of the store the detailed bill will arrive on the shopper’s phone and they can make payment through mobile wallets, debit and credit cards.
According to the Chief Marketing officer, Rajesh Malamal the company is also looking to create there wallet in which customers and add and it will auto-debited once they walkout of the store right now its open customers can pay later using mobile wallets and debit/credit card and they are also going to add feature of auto-debit from credit card.
Watasale is also planning to expand to Bangalore and Delhi. Bangalore store will be open within 3 months which will be followed by one in Delhi according to CMO Rajesh Malamal.
Our take on Watasale Store:
This is really great to see Indian startups looking to be more and more innovative. Watasale could become India’s answer to Amazon Go and this can be one of the major breakthrough in India retail supermarkets.