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Sainsbury’s opens its first checkout-free store in the UK

young woman with glasses smiling
2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Checkout-free store

Sainsbury’s has opened its first checkout-free shop called SmartShop Pick & Go in Holborn Circus, central London.

Sainsbury’s new till-less shop has been created using Amazon’s ‘just walk out’ technology.

Customers will need to scan a QR code using the supermarket’s SmartShop app on their phones, which is connected to the shopper’s debit or credit card. Cameras in store will record the items purchased, and payment is automatically charged to the customer’s account upon leaving the shop.

The cameras do not use facial recognition technology and just track body movements, without storing any information after the customer leaves the supermarket, making it GDPR compliant.

This new technology is trying to appeal to busy employees in the city who are looking for on-the-go food and drinks.

Pick & Go is an extension of the SmartShop system which allows customers to scan their products with a handset or through an app on their phones. The feature is available in 1400 Sainsbury’s stores across the UK and has grown by 173% since last year.

Sainsbury’s digital director Clo Moriarty said: “We are always looking at new ways to make shopping easy and convenient for our customers. We are excited about launching ‘SmartShop Pick & Go’, which offers contactless, checkout-free shopping to our customers and are looking forward to hearing their feedback.”

Tesco was the first UK supermarket chain to open their own checkout-free store GetGo in October, which uses AI technology from the Israeli company Trigo.

Amazon Fresh and Tesco GetGo, which both use similar checkout-free technology, have stores situated in the same area as Sainsbury’s SmartShop Pick & Go.


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