Britain: Opens first cashless supermarket

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Soon (and when we say “soon”, we mean in Greece soon, because it is already happening in Britain) cash registers and cashiers will be a thing of the past for many Super Market in Europe and the USA.

And this is because days ago, the huge and famous British supermarket chain Tesco opened at central London its first cashless store where consumers can choose their products and leave without going through a checkout.

The country’s largest retail store announced that it has modified it in such a way department store in the High Holborn area of ​​London to allow its customers to shop without waiting patiently (or impatiently) in the queues of numerous cash registers.

This new system, known as GetGo, has as its only requirement that customers have downloaded the Tesco application. Thus, with the help of the application and a series of cameras and weight sensors, they will be able to shop whatever they want and leave.

GetGo technology, which created and developed by the Israeli start-up Trigo, will weigh and at the same time cost customers’ purchases, charging the corresponding amount electronically.

Unlike previous technologies where either the consumer scanned it barcode with his mobile phone when he took it from the shelf, or scanned it himself from the cash registers, the new method is based on the technology of artificial intelligence. As seen in the relevant video, a network of cameras and sensors on the shelves detect what the consumer collects and automatically charges him on his card – through the relevant app downloaded to his mobile.

“This innovation offers unhindered and intact shopping for customers, helping them save even more time. “It’s just a store in a pilot phase, but we look forward to seeing our customers respond,” he said. Kevin Tidal, CEO of Tesco.

According to Trigo itself, in addition to the benefits for consumers who save a lot of time from the use of traditional cash registers, the profits for the supermarket chains are significant (ie, in addition to the reduction in staff) as well as make an inventory in real time and can more quickly cover the shortages on the shelf and in the warehouse.

The first “contactless” Amazon store

Tesco may be the first supermarket to apply this technology, but it is not the first department store with completely contactless transactions. It was preceded by, the 2019 the first store of the e-commerce company Amazon without cash registers and employees, in the Ealing district in west London. The store offered Amazon Prime subscribers the opportunity to select and pick up their merchandise without approaching a checkout.

Members of Amazon Prime have been able to enter the Amazon store in Ealing for about two years, thanks to a code sent to their mobile phone. After passing through the portal of the store, customers can choose products or pick them up after they have already ordered them. The whole process is controlled via a closed circuit television, without the need for any human contact with the products to be automatically charged to their Amazon Prime account.

It is known that even if the customer needs to show an ID to buy alcohol, there is also no need for human interaction. It puts the ID in front of a special sensor, which scans it.

Other sensors on the shelves record one by one the items purchased and these are then added to the customer’s Amazon account as they receive them. Customers also have the option to delete what they return by placing it back on the shelves, while at the end, upon their departure from the store, an electronic receipt is issued.

Although the carts and baskets have been completely removed, Amazon announced that there will be some (few) employees in the area to place products on the shelves but also to provide assistance and information to customers.

The company store has approx 10,000 items from well-known companies, as well as vegetables and fruits from the “By Amazon” series, agricultural producers who have entered into agreements with Amazon as part of a strategy to support small-scale farms in the English countryside, with Amazon planning to open ten more Amazon Fresh stores in the UK in the coming months.

Amazon already has 20 such grocery stores in the US, called Amazon Go. “The patient and careful expansion of the Amazon Group in Britain was only a foretaste of Amazon’s ambitions in Britain,” said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black. “It may prove to be a historic moment in the history of British retail.”

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