Compass Ireland leads way with first frictionless store

Ireland’s first ever completely frictionless store (a seamless buying experience), Market x Flutter has opened at Flutter Entertainment’s newly renovated global headquarters in Clonskeagh in Dublin.

The store, developed for Flutter by Compass Group Ireland, uses AI-powered computer vision technology from AiFi, allowing shoppers to purchase items in-store without having to wait in line or stop to scan or pay. The store stocks fresh meals including a selection of hot and chilled dishes to-go, as well as drinks and confectionery.

A truly friction-free shopping experience, customers ‘check in’ when entering and then freely wander through the store, selecting from the food offering at their leisure; no scanning and no queuing. They leave with their purchases and a receipt is delivered to their phone moments later.

Ireland’s food sector and retail expertise is fuelled by constant innovation, local Minister for Dublin-Rathdown, Josepha Madigan, Minister for Special Education and Inclusion, said at the opening event attended by Flutter and Compass Ireland employees.

Madigan said, “I am delighted to be here in Clonskeagh to mark the launch of Market x Flutter, which represents an exciting innovation in retail and customer service. It is a new, user-friendly experience for customers and is a reflection of the creativity and dynamism of the food service industry in Ireland.

'Flutter is an important investor in Ireland and its newly renovated global headquarters in Clonskeagh represents this ongoing commitment. I would like to commend everyone involved in the establishment of this new store and wish everyone at Flutter well into the future.”

The new store uses frictionless technology from leading global AI experts, AiFi. Facial recognition is not needed with this technology, so there is complete anonymity. Once inside, computer vision cameras anonymously track the shopper, adding selected items to the virtual shopping cart. No facial recognition or biometrics are used, ensuring privacy.

Welcoming the convenience and ease of the new retail system, Padraig Ó Ríordáin, Chief Legal Officer & Group Commercial Director of Flutter, and the Executive Lead for the Dublin office, said the frictionless store was among many innovative features available to Flutter staff at their newly renovated global headquarters.

Ó Ríordáin said, “Our new-look global headquarters in Dublin encapsulates Flutter’s vision for the future of work. We have made a significant investment in this modern, agile and flexible workspace, and are excited for our colleagues based here to experience all it has to offer.

'The frictionless store is just one example of its many unique features and is indicative of the kind of innovative work that our talented team, based here, delivers every day. It is a great addition to the office space and we are grateful to Compass Group Ireland for making it a reality”.

Flutter Entertainment is a global sports betting, gaming and entertainment provider and employs around 1,700 people at its Dublin headquarters.

The new contactless store opens Monday to Friday, between 8.00am and 6.00pm, and is open to the general public, as well as Flutter employees, and marketed right across the South Dublin business park.

Deirdre O'Neil, Managing Director at Compass Group Ireland, said that trials of the new foodservices solution at the Flutter workplace have been very successful.

O'Neil,went on, 'We’re incredibly excited by this new frictionless store technology, and are proud that our Irish operation is leading the way. We constantly look at how to offer the most convenient service to customers and tailor food solutions to their needs.

'Now, customers just pop into the store and pick up what they need, whenever they need it – it’s a great flexible solution for busy workers.”

Frictionless units will be established within other corporate clients’ offices in the coming year by Compass Ireland, as well as in the sports and leisure sectors.

The stores will be established where vending-only food solutions exist currently, or where the new contactless format can be part of a suite of solutions, including self-service and serviced meal options. Compass employees will be on-hand to provide support to customers on site.

Compass Ireland food solutions currently include the Feedr app ‘cloud canteen’ for handy ordering and desk delivery, full restaurant operations, café and coffee dock facilities, on-site food-trucks and bespoke catering services.

The Irish business serves 40,000 meals a day across 130 customer sites, including offices, industrial sites and education, leisure and hospitality facilities.

The new food-to-go solution is the ultimate in seamless shopping and forms part of the company’s long-term digital transformation plans, O’Neill said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to add real value to the customer experience through technology, offering great quality food, around-the-clock, and a quick and frictionless purchase experience.”

Steve Gu, CEO & Founder of AiFi Inc., said his company looks forward to scaling the new foodservices experience, together with Compass, across many more client sites.

“AiFi is proud to partner with Compass Group to deploy our AI-powered frictionless shopping solution. Here in Ireland, Flutter employees can now enjoy the highest level of convenience and the very best locally sourced and prepared food from Compass Group.”