Sporting goods retailer Decathlon has opened an "experiential retail center" in Emeryville, California. The 47,000 square-foot store uses the NewStore's Omnichannel Platform, which runs on Apple iOS, NewStore announced last week.
The cashless store allows customers to pay for items with any iPhone-equipped store associate. The NewStore Associate App can accept Apple Pay, gift card, credit card or NewStore Checkout, a payment technology which uses a QR code to complete purchases with Apple Pay.
The checkout system is tied to store security, so paid items don't set off alarms when customers leave the store, per the release.
Allowing purchases to take place throughout the store embraces the recent trend of providing interactive experiences in brick-and-mortar locations rather than simple transactions. Decathlon, which operates over 1,444 stores in 48 countries, opened a "lab store" in San Francisco last spring. The Emeryville location, the first full-scale store in the U.S., is six times bigger, according to the company.
The model removes traditional cash registers from the store completely, making Decathlon's iPhone-wielding associates guides to introduce the new concept to customers. Roaming associates will also be able to complete buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) operations and buy online, return in-store orders.
"NewStore allows Decathlon to put more associates on the store floor where they belong," Tony Leon, CIO and CTO of Decathlon USA said in a statement. "They are armed with iPhone and ready to help customers as opposed to being stuck behind a cash wrap waiting to process transactions with a clunky old POS."
While cash register-free stores are still a novelty, cash-free retail locations have not been met with the same sense of awe. Amazon introduced its cashless Go stores in 2018 but in April said it will add a cash payment option after criticism that it discriminates against consumers who don't have debit or credit cards. The city of Philadelphia has banned cashless stores, along with the entire state of New Jersey. Several other major cities, including San Francisco, are considering similar bans.