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April 30, 2019updated 01 May 2019 9:40am

Sainsbury’s launches the UK’s first till-free store in London

Supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s has launched the UK’s first till-free grocery store at Holborn Circus in London.

By Rosie Lintott

Supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s has launched the UK’s first till-free grocery store at Holborn Circus in London.

At the moment, the trial scheme will last three months so Sainsbury’s can get employee and customer feedback about how to develop the new programme, after which it can be introduced to more stores in the future. Using the SmartShop Scan, Pay and Go app the trial aims to make shopping quicker and more convenient.

The app can be downloaded to customers’ smartphones which they will then use in store to scan and pay for their shopping. Customers will scan their items as they walk around the store, pay in the app, and scan a QR code before they leave to make sure they have paid.

With no checkout tills in the store, Sainsbury’s employees will be on the shop floor to help customers with queries and making sure shelves are fully stocked. There will be a helpdesk if customers want to pay with cash or card.

Sainsbury’s Group chief digital officer Clodagh Moriarty said: “We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible – technology is key to that. This is an experiment rather than a new format for us; it hasn’t been done in the UK before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience.

“We’ll be with our customers and colleagues all the way over the coming months, iterating continuously based on their feedback before we decide if, how, and where we make this experience more widely available.”

Last year, Sainsbury’s was the first grocery retailer in the UK to offer customers the option to shop without using the checkout, with the SmartShop Scan Pay and Go app. There are now eight convenience stores across London using the technology.