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Glitzy New Aurora Store Brings The Wow Factor To Grocery Shopping

CHICAGO (CBS) -- You don't need to wear a top hat and spats when you visit the Chicago area's newest grocery store, but you might feel like you should.

The glitzy Cosmopolitan Marketplace is located at 2372 W. Indian Trail in Aurora, and features LED chandeliers, a full meat processing plant, a Brazilian steakhouse, and automatic product scanners in the checkout lanes.

"We went with LED lighting throughout the whole entire store. We got chandeliers. We wanted a little bit of a different feeling, so when you came in, it was kind of that wow factor," manager Matt Bank said.

He got what he was looking for.

"I got out of the car, and I saw those big, shiny silver doors out there, and I said, 'Wow, interesting,'" customer Erv Brauer said.


Dawn Aagesen said the new store is "breathtaking."

"Never seen anything like it. I've never even seen a restaurant this pretty," she said.

Bank said customers are constantly taking pictures of the store as soon as they walk in.

"I felt like I was in Hollywood. You might want to dress up coming in here," customer Maggie Ikonomi said.

The store also has the newest in checkout systems: a camera system called RAPTOR (Retail Application Prototype Testing of Operational Robotics™). Items are placed on a conveyor belt, much like any other grocery store's, but instead of the cashier ringing up each item one at a time by hand, the RAPTOR's camera scans everything on the belt.

"It's like a 360-degree camera that goes around items. So, in theory, it scans just about 99 percent of the items that go through, no matter how you put it through there," Bank said.

RAPTOR Checkout
The RAPTOR (Retail Application Prototype Testing of Operational Robotics™) automated grocery checkout system uses cameras to scan the barcodes on items from any angle, to give cashiers more time to bag groceries. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya/WBBM)

Except for the occasional item that isn't properly scanned by the camera, the cashier is left to bag groceries and take money.

On the outside of the building, there is a sign reading "Tax Free." Since the store opened five weeks ago it has not been charging sales tax. It will start charging tax after this weekend's Grand Opening festivities.

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