More automated payments in Couche-Tard

More automated payments in Couche-Tard

New habits in Alimentation Couche-Tard. The implementation of automatic checkouts in 7,000 establishments so that customers in a hurry can avoid queues at the checkout and the launch of a loyalty program aimed at discovering consumer habits are some of the projects that Laval will carry out in the coming years.

Posted at 6:45 am

Nathaelle Morissette

Nathaelle Morissette
Press

autonomous boxes

So that customers in a hurry can quickly pay for chips, chocolate bars, coffee or other delicacies, Alimentation Couche-Tard plans to install “autonomous points of sale”, a kind of automatic checkout, in some 7,000 network stores over the next two years. . So Quebec customers could soon see them appear at the Couche-Tard convenience store near them.

“It allows people to skip the line, put their products on the counter and have a quick transaction,” said Claude Tessier, chief financial officer, in an interview with Press following the annual general meeting of shareholders held on Wednesday.

The technology, currently deployed at 540 outlets, including the company’s lab store located on the campus of McGill University in Montreal, gives consumers the opportunity to simply drop off their items, without having to scan them. The cash register can recognize the items and instantly give the amount of the bill, explains Mr. Tessier. “We are very happy with the results,” adding in the process that utilization rates fluctuated between 35% and 40%.

With e-commerce, people are becoming more independent in how they pay.

Claude Tessier, CFO of Couche-Tard

Regarding contactless stores that allow customers to enter the store, choose items and leave without going through the checkout thanks to an application that is downloaded from a smartphone, the convenience store giant wants to continue with its analyzes before settling in your network.

The technology is currently available at the McGill campus convenience store, as well as select company outlets in Arizona.

loyalty program

Like many retailers looking to understand their customers’ behavior, Alimentation Couche-Tard is currently working on creating a loyalty program. “We are currently being tested in South Carolina and also in Denmark, specifies the financial director. It allows to know the consumption habits, the frequency. It also allows individual promotions. We could have a suitable gasoline offer if we know that you are a regular customer. »

French’s place

Furthermore, the question of the official status of French resurfaced during the annual general meeting. Among the four proposals formulated by the Movement for the education and defense of shareholders (MEDAC), one of them demanded that “French be the language of the company, in particular the working language in Quebec, including the language used in annual meetings. “The officiality of the French language must be formally stated in writing in the company letters. »

The proposal was rejected on the recommendation of management. “We have always had great respect for the French language,” says Claude Tessier. But we are an international company. For us, having French as the main language is difficult. [Dans nos discussions] with our Danish and Norwegian friends, including in Lithuania, [la langue avec laquelle] We can understand each other, it’s English. Of course, when you work in Quebec, you work in French. »

Results

The convenience store giant posted a net profit of $872.4 million in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of $108 million from the same period last year. In its results released Tuesday, the company also reported total first-quarter revenue of $18.7 billion, up 37.4% from $13.6 billion a year earlier. Abnormally high gasoline prices helped boost company profits.



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