Tesco opens first cashierless store in central London

Tesco said its recent letter was "the start of conversations with our suppliers" and there was no deadline for engagement

Cameras and weight-sensors will establish what customers have picked up and charge them for products directly through the app when exiting



19 October 2021

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Following Amazon.com, Tesco today opened its first checkout-free store in central London, allowing customers to shop and pay without scanning a product or using a checkout.

This new store trial, GetGo, offers customers “the same Tesco products with a seamless shopping experience”.

GetGo’s launch is the latest experiment with checkout-free stores in the UK grocery sector. Earlier this year, Amazon launched its first cashierless convenience store outside the US in west London. Sainsbury’s has also trialled a till-free store in Holborn, although customers still had to scan items throughout their shopping trip. Aldi and Morrisons have also experimented with the format in the UK.

The rollout of the new technology to Tesco Express High Holborn follows a successful trial at Tesco’s colleague store in Welwyn Garden City, which has been in place since 2019.

Although Tesco Express High Holborn has been a cashless store since it first opened in 2018, the new development introduced in partnership with Trigo, will allow customers with the Tesco.com app to check-in to the store, pick up the groceries they need and walk straight out again.

A combination of cameras and weight-sensors will establish what customers have picked up and charge them for products directly through the app when they leave the store.

There will also be a section in the store specifically for age-restricted products, with a separate exit where colleagues will manually check ID verification.

 “This is a really exciting moment for Tesco as we launch GetGo with customers,” said Kevin Tindall, managing director, Tesco Convenience. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the shopping experience and our latest innovation offers a seamless checkout for customers on the go, helping them to save a bit more time. This is currently just a one-store trial but we’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond.”

The store will be open 7am to 11pm, and Tesco has also pointed out that the cameras do not use facial recognition technology, but instead track body movements. “Visual data from customers will not be stored or saved,” Tesco said of its new store.



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