Sainsbury’s to open first checkout-free store using Amazon technology
Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Amazon to test a “just walk out” store, where it is possible to buy groceries without having to scan items or visit a till.
The store, which is currently only open to Sainsbury’s staff, is in Holborn in central London. It is expected to open on 29 November.
The Smartshop Pick & Go store uses the same technology as the six UK Amazon Fresh stores, in which ‘machine learning’, cameras and special weight-sensitive shelves detect when an item has been removed so that shoppers can put their items in a bag or basket and walk out without having to pay at a till.
Customers can gain entry to the store in future by generating a QR code via Sainsbury’s SmartShop app, which is currently used to scan items with a mobile phone in its supermarkets.
It is the first time Amazon has allowed a retailer in the UK to use its technology, according to Bloomberg. However, Amazon has signed deals to supply its technology to retailers in the US, reportedly including WH Smith, which plans to open its first checkout-free store at a US airport this year.
Sainsbury’s said: “We regularly trial new and convenient ways for customers to shop with us and we’re currently testing an upgraded version of SmartShop with colleagues at one of our Holborn stores.”
The latest trial comes after Sainsbury’s opened a till-free store on the same site in 2019. The outlet closed a few months later after shoppers found scanning items with their phones too clunky.
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