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Spar International unveils cashless store in the Netherlands

Convenience retail chain Spar International has opened its inaugural cashless grocery store at the Hogeschool Utrecht University campus in the Netherlands. 

Shoppers have the opportunity to pay for goods without visiting a cash register, and can instead use the newly tech-enabled Spar University mobile app.

By accessing what Spar International describes as its “Skipping” concept on the app, consumers can choose the “Skip the Line” option, scan the products with their smartphone to add them to a digital basket, and then transact using ABN Amro’s integrated Tikkie payment method.

Spar University stores first started in 2013 as 100% self-checkout premises with no cashiers, but the ambition is to have taken the self-service into a truly mobile age by rolling out Skipping in all of its stores by the end of 2018.

A statement from the retailer said: “By introducing [Skipping], Spar University gathers more relevant data about its customers, [and] can create smarter app deals.

“Spar University can also provide you with more information on what you are looking for.”

It added that the power of the concept “is mainly in trusting the customer – thanks to the self-checkout cash registers”. 

To make the service a reality, Spar University worked with point of sale software company Countr, ICT agency Social Brothers, audio-visual retail solutions provider Mood Media and Tikkie to create the required technology.

Spar’s new store concept comes just months after Amazon launched its first Amazon Go store in Seattle, which involves customers checking in with their Amazon apps before choosing their items and walking out. Using a combination of technologies to identify the shopper, Amazon can then automatically charge people for items as they leave the building.

Waitrose was among the first UK retailers to launch a completely cashless store in 2016, when it opened a Little Waitrose at Sky TV’s headquarters which only accepted card and mobile payments.

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