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Supermarket giant to begin trialling ‘scan-free’ checkouts

The innovative new technology tracks each customer as they enter the trial store, and sensors on each shelf monitor when any item is picked up and placed straight into a basket or even the shopper’s bag.

Then when they are ready to pay they only need approach a new scan-free checkout and it immediately calculates their shopping and enables them to pay and go.

Tesco is trialling the technology with the public at their Fulham Reach Express GetGo store, having already tested it with staff at their Welwyn Garden City headquarters.

The process is similar to using the GetGo checkout-free feature of Tesco’s app – but there is “no need to download or use” the app, and the receipt is provided immediately, rather than digitally a few minutes after exiting.

Sarah Quiggin, head of store customer experience, said: “This is about cutting out some of the challenges around scanning.

“We are constantly searching for the perfect formula to make the shopping trip as seamless and convenient as possible.

“Sometimes there can be issues with certain barcodes and products, and customers understandingly get frustrated with ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ alerts. With no-scan tills, you turn up to the checkout and you pay.

“This trial of scan-free checkouts will add another option for customers in Fulham Reach to save time on scanning items and will reduce queuing in store.

“We will be watching closely to see how customers react to this potential new option of having a list of their shopping presented to them automatically.”

Under Tesco’s system, cameras detect when a customer walks in and assigns them a simple “stick man” figure that is tracked around the store, although it does not use facial recognition nor store that data.

If cameras see a tin in Heinz colours has been picked from the baked beans shelf, and the shelf sensors detect that the weight of a can has been removed, the system adds that product to the shopper’s virtual basket.

Shoppers do not require a Tesco Clubcard or app unlike Tesco’s GetGo stores or Amazon’s Fresh stores.

No-scan tills mean as you shop you can place item straight into your bag or rucksack and when you are ready to pay you only need to stand by the self-checkout till and it knows you are ready to pay.