A Chain Of Cashierless 24-Hour Deps Is Expanding In Quebec & You Even Unlock The Door Yourself

Introvert's dream or dystopian nightmare?

Senior Editor
The interior of an Aisle 24 store.

The interior of an Aisle 24 store.

Ever since cashierless dépanneur Aisle 24 opened its first Montreal location in the Cité du Multimédia neighbourhood in 2021, the company has been quietly expanding. Now, it's preparing to open its first Quebec stores outside of the metropolis.

The 24-hour convenience store works via an app. Users have to create an account and use the app to unlock store doors. After shopping, they use a self-service checkout kiosk to pay with a mobile device or card.

The Aisle 24 concept was first launched in the Toronto area in 2015. The first Montreal store opened in October 2021. Two more, on rue William in Griffintown and on rue Jane-Jacobs near the Décarie Interchange in the borough of Saint-Laurent, opened in 2022.

A store in Quebec City, in a condo development across the street from the Place de la Cité shopping centre, will follow with an opening scheduled for mid-February, an Aisle 24 master franchisor told MTL Blog.

A fifth Quebec store is planned for a Laval condo development, but construction delays mean it doesn't yet have an opening date, they explained.

The cashierless trend seems to be picking up in Montreal. In addition to Aisle 24, Couche Tard has launched a cashierless pilot as part of McGill's Retail Innovation Lab. The functioning store uses wall-embedded cameras to tally customers' items. Shoppers then checkout via a swipe of the store's app — into which they've uploaded payment information — at a checkout machine.

Only time will tell if ditching the cashier is a fad or a persistent retail trend.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.
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