North Texas’ Urban Value Corner Store Partners on Autonomous Micro Markets for Luxe Apartment Buildings

McKinney-based Urban Value is partnering with North Carolina-based retail tech firm JUXTA to bring autonomous, frictionless "micro market kits" to upscale apartment buildings in Dallas-Fort Worth. AI computer vision and shelf sensors will track what you're buying, updating your "basket" as you move about each clerk-less store.

Upscale apartment renters won’t have to leave their luxe surroundings to snag snacks, drinks, and household items, thanks to a new partnership between a North Texas company and North Carolina-based retail tech firm JUXTA. And they won’t even have to deal with a human to do it.

McKinney-based Urban Value Corner Store, an innovative shopping solutions retailer that operates convenience store locations within apartment communities across Dallas-Fort Worth, has partnered with JUXTA to bring its autonomously operated Project Nest “micro market kit” to the interiors of upscale apartment buildings.

“Our partnership with JUXTA enables us to enhance the urban living experience by bringing unparalleled convenience and state-of-the-art, unstaffed retail solutions quite literally to residents’ doorsteps,” Urban Value Founder and CEO Steve McKinley said in a statement. “But we’re not only elevating convenience by integrating JUXTA’s cutting-edge technology, we’re also providing multi-unit property developers with a unique amenity that sets their properties apart in a very competitive market.”

Overhead rendering of JUXTA’s Nest micro market kit [Image: JUXTA]

AI computer vision and shelf sensors track what you’re buying

Unlike UVCS locations at apartment communities across North Texas—which have exterior entrances and a clerk behind the counter—JUXTA’s frictionless “kit” solution is designed for indoor environments, with an “AI-powered sensor fusion design” that requires no clerk, enabling the store to operate itself.

Customers can walk inside the unmanned micro markets and take what they off the shelves. JUXTA’s computer vision system and “advanced shelf sensors” track every movement, updating items in the customer’s “basket” along the way. When the customer leaves, there’s no need for a downloaded app or membership. They can tap their credit or debit card or use their mobile wallet to pay for their purchase.

Steve Liguori, co-founder and CMO at JUXTA, calls the collaboration “more than a sales partnership.”

“It’s a shared vision to enhance how communities interact with retail,” Liguori added in a statement. “By integrating our autonomous retail technology with Urban Value’s market presence in luxury apartments across the U.S., we’re not just changing the landscape of urban retail; we’re setting a new standard for convenience and accessibility.”

According to C-Store Dive, a “handful” of Urban Value’s autonomous micro markets are slated to open by end of 2024, with the first one debuting this summer. Each micro market will take up around 300 square feet.

Urban Value has made sidewalk robot deliveries since 2021

Urban Value delivery robot [Photo: Vroom Delivery]

Autonomous micro markets aren’t the first next-gen initiative from Urban Value Corner Store. The company has offered on-demand delivery via sidewalk robots since 2021, in a partnership with Vroom Delivery, a Chicago-headquartered e-commerce provider for the convenience industry, and Tortoise, a last-mile delivery robot operator based in Mountain View, California.

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