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Sainsbury’s opens checkout-free store in Amazon partnership

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The major retailers have unveiled a store in Holborn, in central London where customers can pick up items and leave without having to use a till.

The new store opened on Monday, November 29 is only a short walk from Amazon and Tesco’s similar checkout-free stores.

The supermarket is using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in the store as part of Amazon’s first partnership with a third-party international customer for the technology.

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The tech is currently used across eight Amazon Fresh stores in London, with plans to increase its physical presence in the works.

How will the Sainsbury’s checkout-free store work?

Customers scan a QR code using the supermarket’s SmartShop app when entering the store.

The walkout technology automatically adds anything shoppers take off the shelf while also removing it from their virtual cart if they put it back.

When leaving users then scan the QR code again and the supermarket then charges customers to the credit or debit card linked to the account.

The Holburn store is the same site that Sainsbury’s first till-free opened in 2019 for a trial period. 

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Shoppers complained to the supermarket, reporting that the experience was difficult and the trial was scrapped months later.

Following a surge in sales numbers from its SmartShop App, the UK’s second-largest grocer revealed that the demand for contactless payments has increased by 173 percent last year.

In supermarkets with SmartShop handsets, 30 percent of its sales come through the app which is more than twice the level of last year.

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

“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.”

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

“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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