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Sainsbury’s abandons cash and card-free store pilot

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has added a manned till and two self-checkout kiosks to its first mobile scan-and-go outlet following negative customer feedback.

The experimental cash and card-free store was opened in London’s Holborn Circus in April. The supermarket chain completely refurbished the store to remove the checkout
area and tills with the aim of enabling customers to scan and pay for their groceries as they picked them off the shelves using the chain’s Pay & Go app.

At the time of the launch Sainsbury’s group chief digital officer, Clodagh Moriarty, said: “This is an experiment rather than a new format for us – it hasn’t been done in the UK before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience.”

It appears that baffled customers were less than excited about the prospect, forming long lines at a specially-installed helpdesk in the store in an attempt to pay for their groceries in a more conventional manner.

“Not all customers were ready for a till-free store,” a spokesperson told retailer mag Just-drinks.