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Tesco takes on Amazon with first checkout-free GetGo store

The 'just walk out' store replaces the Tesco Express on High Holborn in London

Tesco has announced the opening of its first checkout-free store in London following a successful two-year trial in Welwyn Garden City.

Known as GetGo, Tesco’s till-less store allows customers to check-in to the store using the Tesco app, pick up the groceries they need, and walk straight out, in a similar fashion to the Amazon Fresh stores which opened in London earlier this year.

It replaces the Tesco Express on High Holborn, which opened in 2018 as a cashless supermarket.

In order to change the High Holborn supermarket into a cashier-less store, Tesco deployed cameras and weight sensors from automated solutions provider Trigo.

Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Trigo had previously helped Tesco trial its first till-less store at its head office in Welwyn Garden City, and earlier this month assisted Aldi in trialling a till-less supermarket in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In June, the company signed a partnership agreement to join Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem, making Trigo’s AI-powered solutions for autonomous shopping available on its platform. 

Trigo CEO Michael Gabay described the Tesco’s High Holborn GetGo store as the first of its kind in the world – an existing store that was transformed into a completely autonomous, cashier-less store”. 

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“Customers will enter their local Tesco Express, with the layout they know and love, and easily shop and navigate throughout the store as usual. The only difference is an improved, seamless experience,” he added.

Tesco CTO Guus Dekkers said that “this new proposition will save customers time, removing any friction from the checkout and offering even more convenience for shoppers”.

“Working in partnership with Trigo, we have combined the range, quality and value of Tesco products with the latest in-store innovation and we can’t wait to see how customers respond.”

The customers’ response will be a deciding factor in whether Tesco opens more GetGo stores, according to Tesco Convenience managing director Kevin Tindall.

“This is currently just a one-store trial but we’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond,” he said.

Tesco is the latest retailer to open till-less supermarkets in the UK, following Amazon and Morrisons. In 2009, a routine IT upgrade caused tills at 100 Tesco stores to crash, leading to temporary store closures.

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