Foodstuffs, a New Zealand hypermarket chain, wants to test AI to curb a soaring scourge: theft coupled with muggings. Managers also hope that the technology will enable them to improve staff and customer safety.
Proactively reduce theft, burglary and assault
In New Zealand and around the world, the grocery industry is facing a worrying rise in thefts and burglaries. Worse still, criminals are becoming increasingly aggressive.
Beyond material and financial lossesthe staff and customer safety is also under threat. Faced with this alarming situation, the directors of Foodstuffs, a New Zealand hypermarket chain, decided to take action.
Their aim? Proactively reduce thefts, burglaries and assaults in stores. The company has decided to put its trust in new technology, in this case Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Using AI in hypermarkets to spot criminals
Foodstuffs revealed that of the 9,700 identified this year, 2,500 are repeat offenders. According to the company’s management, AI remains one of the only tools they consider effective in identifying thievesaggressors and repeat offenders.
By spotting them upstream, stores will be able to proactively reduce theftburglaries, assaults and violent or threatening behaviour. This is particularly true of repeat offenders.
The retailer has assured us that the technology will be used in around thirty Northland stores in the United States. respect for the law and customer privacy. AI will also be used for these specific and limited purposes.
Protecting staff and customers
Chris Quin, CEO of Foodstuffs Northland explains, “we don’t want our staff and customers to be put at risk by trying to manage dangerous situations where people who have been trespassers or are known accomplices of offenders continue to re-enter stores.”
They are convinced that AI, added to the range of security systems already in place, could help them proactively identify anyone who shouldn’t be in stores.
In a transparent approachThe company’s managers assure us that customers are informed of the use of facial recognition technology as soon as they enter the store. Even in stores where AI is still in the testing phase.