Polish convenience giant Żabka Group has completed the opening of the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe after launching 25 stores under the Żabka Nano and Żappka banners—with at least another 12 set to be added by March.
Using contactless, AI-powered computer vision technology from U.S. tech player AiFi—a system similar to Amazon’s Just Walk Out set-up—the concept enables shopping to be checkout-free and fast. Amazon has been adding to its collection of own-branded contactless Amazon Go AMZN -2% and Fresh stores in the U.K. since March 2021 when it said it planned 30, but the company has not been rolling out as fast as Żabka and only opened 15 so far in and around London.
Meanwhile in Poland, the private equity-owned Żabka—similar to 7-Eleven—has pushed ahead and opened 25 Nano stores right across the country to cover six cities: Gdańsk, Krakow, Piaseczno, Poznań, Sopot, and the capital Warsaw. Their specific locations vary from city centers, within large-format stores like Decathlon, and universities; to railway and underground stations.
The stores—open 24/7—focus on grab-and-go items like snacks, food and beverages, including a range of the company’s own-label lines. Depending on the format, they stock from 450 to 1,500 products excluding regulated items such as tobacco and alcohol. “There are no baskets, so customers just pick up what they need and leave at any time of the day,” said Pawel Grabowski, head of unmanned solutions at Żabka.