Large UK supermarket chain becomes first to use Amazon’s cashless technology

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J Sainsbury PLC, the UK’s second-largest grocery chain, will become the country’s first to open a store using Amazon.com Inc.’s Just Walk Out technology.

According to Bloomberg, who first reported story today, the AI-based store will open on November 29 in London. On its own website, Sainsbury’s calls the store a “Pick and Go” branch, which looks a lot like one of Amazon’s cashier-less stores.

Nonetheless, the channel did not say the technology came from Amazon, stating only on its website, “We’ve partnered with a third-party vendor to use their in-store machine learning, camera and shelf technology to track which items you’ve picked up and which you’ve returned. “

Why it’s a secret that Amazon is the company that supplies the technology remains a mystery. Both companies declined to comment on the matter, although Bloomberg says it has spoken to people “familiar with the matter.”

The store will be located in the High Holborn area, close to Sainsbury’s headquarters. Customers will be able to scan in the store using a QR code, after which they can put the device away.

The rest will be taken care of through surveillance technology. Once shoppers leave the store, they will see the invoice on their phone. On its website, Sainsbury’s said all data will be erased after 30 days, adding that the store will not use the controversial facial recognition technology.

Amazon opened its first cashier-less store in 2018, and since then branches have been opening at a fairly rapid rate. There are now 29 locations located in New York, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and London. Sainsbury’s is the first store to be equipped with Amazon technology in the UK, but not the US

In 2020, the UK’s largest chain, Tesco PLC, opened its first cashier-less store – without help from Amazon. He used Trigo Vision technology.

For grocery chains, the question is whether to spend big on such technology, but during the pandemic and possibly in the near future, the less contact people have with others, the better. Without a doubt, these stores are also very practical.

Photo: Hoboh Official/ Flickr

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