Sainsbury’s trials till-free grocery store

RetailME Bureau

UK-based supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s is trialling the first till-free service at its Holborn Circus convenience store in London. The experiment will put SmartShop Scan, Pay & Go technology to the test in a bespoke food-to-go store, making grocery shopping quicker and more convenient.

During this three-month trial, Sainsbury’s will listen closely to customers and colleagues. Based on customer feedback, Sainsbury’s plans to roll out the SmartShop Scan, Pay & Go app more widely.

The way it works is, customers will scan and pay for their groceries using the SmartShop Scan, Pay & Go app on their smartphone. They scan their groceries while browsing in the store, pay in the app and scan a QR code before leaving, obliterating the need to queue or pay at a till.

The store has been refurbished to remove the checkout area and tills. This frees up the store staff to spend their time on the shop floor, helping customers and keeping shelves fully stocked. The store will have a helpdesk to support anyone who wishes to pay with cash or cards. Currently, 82% of transactions in this London convenience store are cashless.

The range of products available at the store has been tailored specifically for busy customers buying breakfast or lunch and other food to eat on-the-go.

“We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible – technology is key to that. This is an experiment rather than a new format for us – it hasn’t been done in the UK before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience. We’ll be with our customers and colleagues all the way over the coming months, iterating continuously based on their feedback before we decide if, how and where we make this experience more widely available,” said Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s group chief digital officer.