Sainsbury’s has launched the UK’s first ever cashierless grocery store, allowing shoppers to scan and pay for items using their smartphone.
The grocery giant has today opened the doors to its high-tech store in Holborn Circus in London, which will operate with no manned or self-service checkouts.
Instead shoppers can use its SmartShop Scan, Pay & Go app, allowing users to scan items as they pick them up, adding them to a virtual shopping basket before using the same app to pay for them.
The store, which will run for three months as an experiment, will stock items tailored to customers who are eating on the move, stocking sandwiches, pastries, breakfast pots and even hot drinks.
It will also include a helpdesk at the front of the store for any customers who prefer to pay by cash or card, however a reported 82 per cent of transactions are already cashless.
The grocer, which recently saw its shares crash nearly seven percent following the CMA’s decision to block the landmark £12 billion merger between with Asda, first launched in-app mobile payments in August last year and has since rolled it out across eight stores.
“We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible – technology is key to that,” Sainsbury’s group chief digital officer Clodagh Moriarty said.
“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.”