Sainsbury’s launches first checkout free store

Sainsbury’s launches first checkout free store

Sainsbury’s has opened its first checkout free store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, following testing by the retailer’s employees.

Located opposite its Holborn HQ, the introduction of “SmartShop Pick & Go” is the latest in a string of digital initiatives from the UK’s second largest grocer. These include the development of SmartShop, personalised My Nectar Prices and the expansion of Chop Chop rapid delivery.

To use the store, customers scan a QR code with their SmartShop app which is linked to a payment card as they enter the store.  The customer then walks round the store as normal and each time a product is removed from the shelf it is added to their virtual basket.

They leave the store by scanning the QR code to exit through the store’s automatic gates. Once they have exited the store the customer’s linked card is charged for the items picked and they receive a receipt via email.

This technology is the same as that rolled out to the growing number of Amazon Fresh stores and other third party retailers in the US. However this is the first time Amazon has partnered with a retailer outside the US.

Sainsbury’s SmartShop technology has now been rolled out to most Sainsbury’s supermarkets and convenience stores. In the last six months, sales through the app were 173% higher than a year earlier and in supermarkets with handsets, 30% of sales are now generated through the app, more than twice the level of last year. SmartShop Mobile Pay meanwhile is available in nearly all convenience stores.

Commenting on the launch Clo Moriarty, Sainsbury’s Retail and Digital Director, 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.”