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- It looks pretty unassuming. Like most Tesco stores.

Tesco opens its first checkout-free shop

This is just legitimised shoplifting but with cool tech

6w ago

I've written about checkout-less supermarkets before when Amazon unveiled their authorised theft based system. Now it seems the tech has proved it can work and is now being ventured into by Tesco.

The UK largest retailer has now opened a high-tech version of their Tesco Express stores in High Holborn, London. The set up, known as GetGo (get it, it rhymes) sees users of the app able to walk in, grab what they want and wander out again without the need to dawdle in line at a checkout.

Middle shelf on the left, Jaffa Cakes dead ahead.

Middle shelf on the left, Jaffa Cakes dead ahead.

Tesco says "a combination of cameras and weight sensors" would establish what customers had picked up and then charge them for products directly through the app when they left the shop.

Kevin Tindall, managing director of Tesco Convenience, said: "Our latest innovation offers a seamless checkout for customers on the go, helping them to save a bit more time." If the system works well the company have aims to roll it out across more of their smaller Express and Metro stores. Amazon has seen success with their AmazonFresh stores with six of them now in London.

It might seem odd for a stalwart of the UK supermarket scene to be going this way, but the firm's Clubcard programme already has 6.6 million users on its app. So the retailer is "well ahead of the curve" when it comes to using information on what a customer buys, or how they shop, to personalise their experience", said Richard Lim, chief executive of retail analyst group Retail Economics.

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Comments (8)

  • As an autistic person it is amazing to avoid social convention, which can be incredibly stressful. I am rather fond of self checkouts too.

      1 month ago
    • Good point. But as an ADHD person, I prefer having another human check my groceries out for me, because I'm very likely to keep getting distracted if I try to do it myself - not to mention how long it would take me to carefully bag up my groceries....

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        1 month ago
    • This makes absolute sense!

        1 month ago
  • I try to avoid supermarkets when I can these days. Obviously it's not 100% possible, but I prefer buying vegetables from Cobourg's excellent Market & Smor, and my meat from LeClerc's butchers. It helps the local high street, and I can question the staff on the produce. We're lucky to have a lot of fresh local produce that finds its way to both these stores, and it also helps that there are friendly and knowledgable staff on hand that can tell you about what you're buying.

    You can't do that in Robo-Tesco.

      1 month ago
  • I’m not actually convinced that there is much of a future in city supermarkets, or cities for that matter .

    I grew up in a large city which has more than quadrupled in population since the time I was born .

    It’s now very crowded and whilst the increased population density creates the economic conditions to perhaps justify hi tech shopping , the crowded conditions also spreads disease .

    So when covid arrived I wasn’t surprised to see the stock prices of Winnebago and Thor , the parent company of Airstream and Jayco , nearly quadruple .

    In my opinion, and this is only from watching engineering capability trends , the future of grocery shopping could be a Winnebago towing an Airstream along an interstate type highway system , from town to town .

    People are time poor . Very time poor .

    My GP brother is flat out , doesn’t have time to scratch himself . The workload is brutal .

    So the hyperinflation of city real estate and the gadgets that we apply as band aids to the financial woes aren’t conducive to wealth generation , not in any conventional sense .

    It’s just increasing the number of hours that people are working .

    And that helps no one , and everyone is poorer for it .

    If the Getgo tech could be applied to a walk-in / walk out / sorry I forgot to pay / it’s ok there’s an App for that Winnebago / Airstream combo parked out on a service road accessed by an off ramp , running off of a stretch of privatised interstate highway ,

    yeah that could work .

    Highway maintenance workers could buy groceries and load up their RVs .

    And if there was also a drone delivery facility operating out of the roof of the Winnebago/ Airstream combo , that could work too ; it could deliver to Mr. Clarksons farm , and also pick up fresh produce .

    I think the Getgo tech might have a niche market for the customers who are residing off grid or in self isolation.

    Speaking from experience, it would be handy for remote geological exploration projects .

    And if it liberated check out workers so that they could then seek a much better paid job in isolated minerals lab analysis or isolated drone maintenance, that’s probably a good outcome .

    But that’s just me , I see this sort of tech and I wonder how it would assist me in remote geological exploration work .

      1 month ago
  • If I was popping in for one item, I might. But I'd rather help keep humans employed otherwise.

      1 month ago
  • Would you go to a checkout-free store for groceries? @tribe

      1 month ago