(19 September, 2023) – Pixevia, a leading AI retail technology company, has again collaborated with the IKI retail chain, a member of the REWE Group, to launch their fifth autonomous store together in Vilnius. The new “IKI GO” store is located next to the highly trafficked “Green Bridge” public transport stop and offers shoppers a new design, a new brand, and an unparalleled customer experience. This marks the seventh store overall powered by Pixevia, as the startup continues to expand its technology across Europe and the US.
The new store, contained in a small-format pavilion, is owned and operated by IKI. It operates autonomously – without staff – for approximately 95% of its hours, only requiring occasional restocking. Shoppers can choose from over 200 items – from hot coffee beverages and chilled ready-to-eat meals to ice creams, snacks, drinks, and essential non-food items. The store features Pixevia’s proprietary real-time checkout technology, which allows customers to enter simply by tapping a payment card. Customers take what items they want from the shelves while cameras and shelf sensors compile a virtual ‘shopping basket.’ Customers then tap the same payment card to exit the store, without any ‘checkout’ process required and receive a real-time receipt which can be printed upon leaving.
IKI, which is the second-largest supermarket chain in Lithuania, has opened three autonomous stores in partnership with Pixevia in 2023. The opening of a fifth AI-driven store makes Vilnius a major contender in the race to integrate autonomous retail outlets, putting it alongside London or Warsaw.
To shop at Pixevia powered stores, customers can tap any payment card, phone, or watch wallet at the store entrance. Shelf sensors and in-store video streams enable a proprietary AI platform to determine what individual customers have taken from the shelves and track inventory. The software then compiles the customer’s order list in real time and presents a receipt at the exit. Customers simply re-tap their preferred payment method again and leave with their items – no barcode scanning is required. On the back end, the increased data insights enable better stocking, store-flow management, and ordering for retailers.
Mindaugas Eglinskas, founder and CEO at Pixevia, comments: “Thanks to our collaboration with IKI and REWE Group, and our expansion in Vilnius, AI stores have become a regular part of the city's daily life. We are thrilled to be working with IKI to advance this technology forward.”
"A year and a half ago, we were the first to introduce an innovation to the market - autonomous stores. And although we still stand alone, resting on our laurels is not in our character - we are constantly expanding, improving, looking for even better solutions to make the shopping experience better. With the new IKI GO, we are also introducing a new concept of autonomous stores, which we have carefully developed based on the lessons we have learnt from the four existing autonomous stores. They are popular with visitors, while we enjoy stable technology and traffic of shoppers who value convenience, so we have already been able to learn a lot," says Nijolė Kvietkauskaitė, CEO of IKI Lietuva.
Pixevia brings the conventional grocery store into the digital age with a seamless, cashier-less checkout process and AI-powered store management tools. The Vilnius-based startup has developed proprietary AI technology solutions and a SaaS platform to power the first-ever autonomous store in Europe, delivering an app-free, cashier-less shopping experience with real-time receipts for shoppers. The startup has raised €2.2 million from Iron Wolf Capital, Open Circle Capital, Practica Capital, and several angel investors and is currently deploying stores in Europe and the US.
IKI, a member of the international Rewe Group, has been operating in Lithuania since 1992. With 237 stores across Lithuania, IKI is one of the largest retail chains. The company is one of the country's largest employers, employing around 5,500 people. The chain, together with Pixevia, has opened five stand-alone stores under the Iki brand in Vilnius. The chain also operates LastMile, a home delivery start-up, and an own-brand e-store.