Aisle 24, a fully automated, 24/7 cashierless grocery chain based in Toronto, announced the opening of its newest location in downtown Toronto, featuring an integrated security solution to safeguard customers and enable franchise owners to manage their operations remotely. The solution includes surveillance coverage, custom access control, remote control and analytics designed to assist staff in inventory management and other business operations. The new system is an essential step in Aisle 24’s expansion throughout Canada.

“These are hyper-urban grocery stores, and — given today’s busy lifestyle — people appreciate having this kind of safe and secure convenience in their neighborhood or right in the building where they live,” said John Douang, co-founder and CEO of Aisle 24. “By emphasizing safety and security while accumulating business intelligence, we’re offering franchise owners the ability to monetize empty space and build a profitable business that places far fewer demands on their time than running a traditional grocery store.”

To keep the customer experience as natural and secure as possible, Aisle 24 turned to Smart Installs Inc., a Toronto-based customer security solutions provider and Axis Communications integrator partner. Axis provided video surveillance and audio technology and 2N audio/video intercoms — all streaming to an AI-enabled video management system. Together, they created an integrated surveillance solution, customizable access control through a mobile app, and analytics designed to reduce shrink, streamline inventory management, analyze point-of-sale data, and optimize each store’s product mix for maximum sell-through.

“As we enter a new era of streamlined retail experiences, investing in state-of-the-art, integrated solutions is key to providing dynamic levels of safety and security, while bolstering overall business intelligence,” said Keith D’sa, country manager, Axis Communications. “With the confluence of applications and uses that today’s security technology provides, our goal is to keep customers and assets secure, while also allowing Aisle 24 to leverage data to inform day-to-day and long-term business strategies.”

Entering an Aisle 24 store is completely touchless. Customers can open the app on their smartphone as they approach the Bluetooth-enabled 2N intercom at the store door, which then displays an “unlock” message and releases the door. Once inside, they can load their cart and then self-checkout at the register kiosk.

“We recommended Axis and 2N technology because they’re built on an open platform, which allows for deep third-party integration,” said Ken Oki, managing director for Smart Installs. “That was important for Aisle 24 since it gives them a wider range of options for current and future customization.”

Currently, Aisle 24 has 16 locations in Ontario and Quebec, with plans to launch at least 40 more stores in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax by the end of the year. Aisle 24 plans to continue expanding its 24/7, cashierless grocery stores across Canada, as well as the United States, South America, and parts of Europe and Asia.