How Choice Market is reshaping grocery shopping in a post-pandemic world

Choice Market in Denver
Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 20:49:27-04

DENVER — The floor plan of Choice Market in Denver may look very similar to your upscale neighborhood bodega. But look up and the 200-plus cameras on the ceiling transform it into something out of a science fiction novel. And the technology behind the cameras is nothing if not futuristic.

"This is the first, certainly in Colorado, and one of the first in the world, to deploy this technology," said Mike Fogarty, the founder of Choice Market. "It aligns with consumers preferred transactions making them contactless and frictionless."

The "frictionless" technology that Fogarty is mentioning is a network of 3D imaging cameras that use artificial intelligence to digitally merge customers with the products they select. Instead of gathering items and bringing them to a checkout counter, shoppers scan a QR code at entry. Then, the cameras track when an item has been placed in a shopping bag, or when it has been put back on the shelf. After the customer leaves, their bill is tallied and their credit card is charged.

"It is going to be a learning curve that, indeed, that we have your basket, and that you're gonna get charged for everything that you grabbed off the shelves," Fogarty said. "But once people get it's gonna be an easy adoption because it is so convenient."

The flagship store for the technology launched in early April. Fogarty said the debut is well timed as the state rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Whether it's because of COVID, or safety concerns, or just because they're rushed on time, this experience really provides a lot of value," Fogarty said. "We are going to see a lot more of this technology moving forward, regardless of the pandemic."