Tesco trials cashless 'shop and go' store at HQ

Tesco staff are trialling a completely cashless store at the grocer’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, including 'shop and go' technology similar to that used in the Amazon Go store in Seattle.

Solely in test mode and restricted to the staff shop on its HQ premises, the technology allows customers to scan and pay for their products via their smartphone before walking out of the store without visiting a traditional till point.

The store is in a Tesco Express convenience store format, and the 'Scan Pay Go' technology has been placed on the mobiles of 100 staff who have the capacity to scan barcodes and then pay for their goods in app.

In its first-quarter trading statement earlier this month, Tesco promised further tech and eCommerce innovation, including developments to its mobile app and Tesco.com website, and this represents an immediate follow-up to that statement.

In a presentation on Thursday, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “In our stores in central London, Manchester and Birmingham, lunchtime queues are a problem.

“Anything we can do to speed that up will be a benefit for customers.”

The presentation took place in Tesco’s new Heart building at its HQ, a facility which opened in May and is said to represent the final step in the retailer’s relocation project from its former home in Cheshunt.

All of the company’s innovation projects and learning capabilities have been brought into one place, and the area includes new product development kitchens and a new food experience space for chefs, product teams and suppliers to work on new ideas in collaboration.