Sainsbury’s opens first checkout-free store powered by Amazon tech

Sainsbury’s has become the latest grocery retailer to open a checkout-free store, after months of speculation, with the new SmartShop Pick & Go format built around Amazon’s “just walk out” technology. 

The store opened on November 29 and is situated just yards away from similar stores Amazon Fresh and Tesco GetGo, in the cashierless supermarket hub of Holborn.

To enter the supermarket, shoppers scan a QR code using the SmartShop app, which must be linked to a debit or credit card, the camera technology detects what they put in their bag and a receipt is emailed upon exit. 

The retailer said it selected the Holborn store as it is primarily focused on offering “on-the-go food and drink to busy local workers”. 

The store launch builds on the success of the existing SmartShop system, based around scanning products using handsets or an app, which grew 173 per cent last year and is now available in 1400 Sainsbury’s stores. 

READ MORE: Amazon Fresh and Tesco GetGo: How do they compare?

“We are always looking at new ways to make shopping easy and convenient for our customers,” Sainsbury’s retail and digital director Clo Moriarty said. 

“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.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Sainsbury’s to enable their Holborn Circus checkout-free convenience store powered by our Just Walk Out technology,” Amazon vice president of physical retail and technology Dilip Kumar. 

“We’re excited to bring Just Walk Out technology to our first customer internationally with Sainsbury’s. 

“With no tills, no checkout lanes, and no self-service scanners, we can’t wait to hear how busy Londoners enjoy the experience.”

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Nice to see new tech being given the trial periods needed.
    My question though is if you pick an item off the shelf, for example, a loaf of bread, you then change your mind and put it back, does the technology recognise this and remove it from your shopping list.

    • George Iddenden
      December 6, 2021 9:06 am

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment. The tech does indeed remove the item from your shopping list once it has been replaced back on the shelf.


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