Tesco has moved into autonomous store technology in a bid to compete with Amazon as its grocery arm opens its fifth store in the UK.
The retailer is set to deploy its Trigo powered autonomous store system in a second UK location after launching in its head office Express store in Welwyn Garden City.
Tesco had previously made an undisclosed investment in the Israeli start-up’s frictionless shopping platform in addition to the $22 million the company made from a recent funding round.
The grocery giant had trialled the checkout less store tech and plans to roll it out to more of its stores as Amazon Fresh takes the grocery space by storm with its revolutionary “just walk out” tech.
“We have a system installed in our Express store in Welwyn Garden City, and we’re extending that to another store to check it in a more urban environment,” Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said.
“It’s been opened about a year now, and it’s working really well, one of the joys of machine learning is it is continuously improving, so we’re feeling confident that we can put it into another store with a higher traffic.”
The Holborn-based store became the retail giant’s first cashless store earlier this year and now has been fitted with cameras and other equipment to function as an autonomous supermarket.
It may not be the first cashless Tesco, but this is no ordinary Express. Ceiling covered with cameras and computer servers, 20-somethings with laptops and tape measures moving stock & filling/emptying baskets. Will this be Tesco’s first till-less store? You saw it here first… https://t.co/yj6ZasDXGo pic.twitter.com/Vh6B3d9xIh
— Kien Tan (@kientan74) June 30, 2021
New grocery rival Amazon Fresh announced it was opening its fifth bricks and mortar store in the London borough of Camden last month.
The high-tech grocery stores use a collection of cameras and sensors to record which items customers put in or remove from their trolleys while allowing them to walk out without visiting a tillpoint, their shopping order is then charged to their Amazon accounts automatically as they exit.
Since 2018, when the first Amazon Go store to feature the technology was launched in Seattle, the UK grocery market has been poised for Amazon’s introduction to the UK, but had been left largely in the dark until the surprise launch of its first non-US store in Ealing in March.