Sainsbury's launches 'scan and go' store in Clapham

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is using its ‘scan and go’ technology in its Clapham North store, meaning customers can scan products with a smartphone app and pay for the goods without having to visit a fixed till or self-service machine.

Building on the retailer’s ‘Smartshop’ technology which supports consumers’ scanning items on their phone to create a digital shopping list before paying at a till, the Clapham initiative takes things a step further by solely requiring the customer to tap their phone against a QR code on exit to transact.

The largest supermarkets in the UK are investigating ways to introduce similar technology in their stores, following the launch of Amazon Go in Seattle last year, which requires visitors to register their entry to the store via app before they choose their items and walk out without going to a till. The technology installed in the shop – which is expected to be the first of many from the online titan – automatically recognises which products have been picked and charges shoppers accordingly.

The Sainsbury’s version uses an app linked to a consumer’s Nectar card, and relies on Apple Pay to complete transactions. Before launching in Clapham, the service had been trialled at the Sainsbury’s store in Euston Station.

Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s first group chief digital officer, who was recently promoted from the role of online director, is overseeing the project.

“Technology and changing customer shopping habits have transformed the way people buy their groceries," she said. "Our teams are constantly working hard to bring new convenient shopping experiences to customers and we’re delighted to be the first grocery retailer in the UK to offer customers the ability to shop checkout-free. The latest version of SmartShop, with its new payment feature, will make it super quick for customers to get in and out of the store for those that want to scan, pay and go.”

The retailer said its Smartshop technology already sees over 100,000 transactions from its 68 compatible Sainsbury's branches every week.

In addition to developing the Smartshop concept, Moriarty’s time at Sainsbury’s has seen her drive the development of fulfilment innovations such as same-day delivery and the one-hour ‘Chop Chop’ delivery by bicycle in Central London.

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