Suning Commerce unveils automated store in Las Vegas

Suning Commerce Group, one of China’s largest non-government retailers, is showcasing its unmanned, automated Biu store at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week.

Running until Friday, CES is the global stage for new innovative consumer electronics. Suning’s promotion of its Smart Retail program comes as the company prepares to launch its developments internationally,

“Suning’s Biu store concept showcases the latest in our online-to-offline retail strategy, designed to offer consumers a one-stop seamless shopping experience,” says the group’s R&D executive VP Joshua Xiang, who is also GM of Suning Global Research.

Suning’s Biu store concept is big-data driven and powered by facial recognition and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Since launching its first self-service store in Nanjing in August, Suning has opened a further four cashierless stores in China, in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Xuzhou.

It says shoppers have been flocking to the stores to buy gadgets, personal electronics, FMCG and sports accessories. They can also find branded football merchandise, including Italian team Internazionale Milano, which is owned by Suning.

Immediate identification

Bui shoppers who link their bank card to the Suning Finance app are immediately identified by camera at the store’s entrance and granted access. Inside, they can be helped with their purchase decisions by Suning Smart Recommendation, a shopping guide system based on big-data analysis. RFID technology along the payment pathway ensures an effortless check-out experience taking no longer than 15 seconds.

At CES, Suning is also showcasing its e-commerce services and tech products that focus on enhancing the consumer experience. These include the Smart Sue shopping assistant, with voice and text interaction system; the Anywhere AR shopping experience, allowing shoppers to place virtual products into a real scene; Suning Smart Home, incorporating advanced Internet of Things automation systems to control electronic home appliances and built-in technology; smart retail chain software; and logistics and shopping financial services.

A Created in China forum at CES tomorrow, hosted by Suning and the China Household Electric Appliance Research Institute, will explore electronics industry trends in China and also demonstrate Suning’s Smart Retail concept.

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