Following in the footsteps of a host of other supermarket chains, Sainsbury's has now opened its first autonomous store. The technology behind it comes from Amazon.
The British retailer's first till-less store is called SmartShop Pick & Go and is located in Holborn Circus in West London. Similar stores of Amazon Fresh and Tesco GetGo are also located in the same area, writes Charged Retail.
The SmartShop Pick & Go formula is built around Amazon's "just walk out" technology. To enter the supermarket, customers must scan a QR code using the SmartShop app, which must be linked to a debit or credit card. Camera technology detects what they put in their bags and the checkout is automatic when they leave the store.
City store for busy employees
With the new store, Sainsbury's is primarily focused on offering on-the-go food and drinks to (rushed) employees. The launch builds on the success of the existing SmartShop system, where customers scan products themselves using handsets or an app. SmartShop grew 173% last year and is now available in 1400 stores of the supermarket chain.
"We are always looking at new ways to make shopping easy and convenient for our customers," said digital director Clo Moriarty. "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."