BRITAIN: Co-op is trialing a new “scan and go” app that allows shoppers to scan groceries on their phones and leave the store without visiting a checkout.
The co-op has partnered with Mastercard which will process payments for the app.
The app is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to cover all items in a store. Sainsbury’s has trialed a similar system but only for its meal deal range at one store, while Waitrose offers customers the option to scan their own items but they still have to visit a till before they leave the shop.
The co-op has been trialing the system at a store inside its customer support center in Manchester which is not open to the public. The member-owned group said it would seek to roll out pay-in-the-aisle technology to the public this summer.
“Scan and go” is part of a trend towards self-service and automation in retail that could see millions of jobs in the sector put under threat in coming years.
Amazon launched its own automated supermarket – Amazon Go – in Seattle this year. The e-commerce giant’s technology goes one stage further than Co-op’s in that customers do not have to scan items; they simply take them off the shelves and the shop’s computer system works out the final bill.
Co-op’s director of retail support, Matthew Speight, said: “It is all about consumer choices and convenience.
“Our ambition is to harness technology to deliver the shopping experience that our diverse customer-base requires.
“We recognize there are many communities where customers pop into their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat – it is all part of the service.
“Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.’
(source/ The Independent)