- Zippin, a checkout-free technology company, has added six more stores in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, in partnership with hospitality company Levy.
- The expansion grows the stadium’s checkout-free store count to 10, with the first four having opened last year on level 3 of the stadium. It’s the first location in the world with 10 checkout-free stores, according to an announcement from Zippin.
- While various convenience store chains have tested the waters with checkout-free stores, the technology seems to have found its niche in arenas and stadiums. Allegiant Stadium follows T-Mobile Park in Seattle, which recently expanded its stores powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology from one to four locations.
Being able to avoid checkout lines entirely is a significant value for people attending sporting events and concerts, said Frank Beard, head of marketing for Rovertown and a former marketing manager for frictionless checkout company Standard, in an earlier interview.
“You go to a stadium, spend all this money to see a show, see a game, and god forbid you want a beer,” Beard said. “You miss 30 minutes.”
That level of value seems to help explain why frictionless checkout technology has recently taken off at stadiums like Allegiant Field and T-Mobile Park even as brick-and-mortar retailers, like c-stores and grocery stores, have approached the technology more cautiously.
Zippin stores work by asking customers to tap a credit card to enter. The technology then uses sensors, machine learning and AI to track what the customer picks up as they walk through the store and charges them once they leave.
Over the first year of having Zippin stores within its walls, Allegiant Stadium reported large per-store revenue and per-capita spending increases. The team’s representatives didn’t need long to decide the partnership was working out.
“Our partnership with Zippin quickly provided tremendous value for the Las Vegas Raiders," said Sandra Douglass Morgan, team president of the Raiders football team, which calls Allegiant Stadium home. "We had such success with our first four Zippin Lanes that we decided to expand our investment after just a few home games.”
Performance improvements at Allegiant Stadium stores
The original four stores carried a diverse array of options, with over 40 SKUs of just beverage options, said Adam Feldman, vice president of sales and ticket operations for the Las Vegas Raiders in a Zippin webinar. But it’s not all drinks.
“Food has actually done pretty well,” said Feldman in the webinar. “We sell an unbelievable amount of popcorn.”
The average shopping time at that point was between 30 and 45 seconds.
The technology should get a workout in February 2024, when Allegiant Stadium plays host to Super Bowl LVIII.
Convenience stores are also increasingly opening in sports arenas. Loop Neighborhood Markets recently announced it had signed a two-year lease to sell food and drinks in the Bay Area’s Oakland Arena. Ampm moved into the field level of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 2015 and GetGo Cafe + Market opened its doors inside PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh in 2021, while Allsup’s opened an Express Grab & Go store at Texas Motor Speedway, on the NASCAR circuit.
These environments play to c-stores’ strengths, with their focus on speed and convenience.
San Francisco-based Zippin was founded in 2018, and has stores in a number of facilities throughout the world, including locations in Toyota Center in Houston and Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.