The store — a partnership between McGill University and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. — is designed as a "live testing ground" for retail innovation, including "frictionless technologies" that allows for contactless check-out.
According to a McGill news release, the customer uses an app to unlock the door and enter the Couche-Tard Connecté section of the lab, which operates as a store.
As the customer walks around the Connecté store, any items they select will be "recognized in real-time."
The payment will then be processed automatically in the app, it says, meaning the customer can simply pick up items and walk out.
The lab is one of Canada's first retail laboratory stores open to the public and one of the first frictionless stores in Canada.
Designed by Professor Maxime Cohen of the Desautels Faculty of Management and Professor James Clark of the Faculty of Engineering, the lab aims to research and test new ways of "improv[ing] the customer experience for the retail sector."
Research themes include helping customers make "healthier, more sustainable choices," and finding the "right balance between personalization and privacy."
"We are confident that the research projects and technologies successfully tested at the lab may eventually be implemented in some of our 14,220 stores across our global network," said Deborah Hall Lefevre, chief technology officer at Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which owns Circle K and Mac's Convenience Stores in addition to Couche-Tard.
McGill students will also use the lab for "on-site experiential learning," the release says.
The Greenhound Canada Foundation, an ecological advocacy group, will be hosting this free-to-attend market at Leaves House Café McGill from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on September 18.
This series of markets is "part of Greenhound Foundation's campaign to support mental wellness and community connectedness through plants and nature," according to a press release shared with MTL Blog.
The funds raised from the market will go towards supporting community projects and the development of a "healing garden" in Montreal.
The market this weekend will host creators such as Les Filles Plantées, Ivkaforest, MTL Creation Boutique, MTLA Studio, Soft Earth Forest Therapy, and desputeaux+aubin (creators of Caillou). There will be something for everyone!
A McGill spokesperson told MTL Blog, "Given that the recent incident exacerbated existing damage to the sculpture, it has been removed for repair and restoration. Whether, following this work, the sculpture will return to its current site is not yet determined."
We were further told that "as part of its Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism, the University is committed to exploring its historic record." This action plan pledged an investment of $15 million over five years to address racism and develop better representation in both the faculty and student community.
An investigation regarding the statue's vandalism is currently ongoing, the results of which will decide whether the statue will be returned to its current site or be relocated elsewhere.