The first cashier-free supermarket in the region inaugurated in Dubai: Epta is at the helm of change with remote-controlled counters

Matteo Dipentina

“The world of Retail is evolving and digital transformation will be the engine of change. Customers are increasingly demanding and they are asking for a fast, pleasant and safe shopping experience. The innovation will support Retailers in this paradigm shift: among the different technologies available, those that stand out are artificial intelligence and Scan & Go devices, to simplify in-store shopping and guarantee social distancing. Countries such as the United States, France and Sweden, but also China, Japan and South Korea are focusing on the so-called unmanned stores”, stated Matteo Dipentina, General Manager of Epta Middle East.

“Advanced stores require solutions capable of guaranteeing constant performance: an example is the counters of our brands that can be equipped with a new latest generation monitoring system capable of responding perfectly to the needs of AI-powered stores. Several successful applications of the Group both in France and, more recently, in the United Arab Emirates with the inauguration of the first cashier-free store were designed from the earliest stages in collaboration with Epta.”


The shop of the future was born in Dubai, with an area of 100 m2, for a complete and quick shopping experience. The consumer, by downloading the dedicated app, shows the QR Code at the entrance and can immediately start shopping: the Scan & Go technology takes care of the rest. Video cameras equipped with Computer Vision and Machine Learning detect the customer’s movements and keep track of purchases or the type and number of items chosen. Upon exit, the account is automatically charged to the card registered on the app, eliminating the passage to the cashier. All in full compliance with social distancing. Open every day from nine to midnight, the store admits a maximum of ten customers at a time and notifies customers via smartphone notification if it is possible to enter, avoiding unnecessary queues.


The Retailer relied on Epta to create a refrigeration system with a tailor-made solution. In fact, a customised version of one of Costan brand vertical plug-ins with R290 natural refrigerant was proposed. Compact and reliable, they fit perfectly into this small-sized environment, ensuring constant performance over time and maximum product visibility. The solution’s added value is the integrated remote monitoring system. The total absence of personnel in the store has made it necessary to use state-of-the-art equipment that allows control and management of all parameters of the refrigerated compartments. In this sense, Epta Remote Monitoring System features a new user interface and an unrivalled level of connectivity. The service allows remote checking of the cabinet’s configuration to verify its parameters in real time, to receive and manage alarm signals and error situations. Compared to past systems, a much higher amount of data can be transferred to the Epta Telemonitoring Centre for enhanced and increasingly efficient monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Andrea Cavalet

“Epta specialises in turn-key projects developed together with the customer from the earliest stages” says Andrea Cavalet, Contracting & After Sales Director of Epta Middle East. “In addition to the great logistical and project management capabilities, Epta was able to create a tailor-made solution perfectly suited to such a technologically advanced environment”. He concludes: “The Dubai project is an ambitious one for which expectations were high and Epta has fully satisfied them. A futuristic store, an icon of digital innovation where the shopping experience for the customer is a total peace of mind immersion”.