UK SUPERMARKET Sainsbury's is introducing till-free shopping at one of its London stores, allowing users to skip the checkout completely.
While INQ's local Sainsbury's has only recently started accepting contactless payments, the company on Monday announced plans to trial new "scan, pay and go" technology at a branch in Clapham North, London. This follows a smaller, presumably successful trial at a Sainsbury's store in London's Euston station.
The initiative, which the firm promises won't lead to job cuts, uses Sainsbury's existing SmartShop technology, which has been updated to allow customers to scan their items on the app and pay for it using Apple Pay without going to a checkout.
Until now, shoppers could use the app in 68 branches of Sainsbury's to scan their goods before they were paid for at a till. According to the supermarket, it currently sees 100,000 SmartShop transactions and between 3,000 and 4,000 new customer registrations every week.
The "check-out free" store will, er, still offer conventional self-serve and manned tills, so customers won't be obliged to use the new Amazon Go-a-like service. The supermarket also says the store will have an increased number of cameras and security staff to deter shoplifters.
Sainsbury's chief digital officer, Clodagh Moriarty, said:"Technology and changing customer shopping habits have transformed the way people buy their groceries.
"Our teams are constantly working hard to bring new convenient shopping experiences to customers and we're delighted to be the first grocery retailer in the UK to offer customers the ability to shop checkout-free.
"The latest version of SmartShop, with its new payment feature, will make it super quick for customers to get in and out of the store for those that want to scan, pay and go."
The supermarket says that, if its Clapham trial proves successful, it will roll out the technology to more locations in the coming months.
Sainsbury's "first of its kind" checkout-free shopping trial sees the firm taking a leaf from Amazon's book, which earlier this year launched its first "fully automated" store in Seattle, US.
The store is somewhat more advanced that Sainsbury's efforts, and uses deep learning technology to automatically detect when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. µ
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