Sainsbury's Has Launched The UK's First Till-Free Supermarket

We all know 'the machines' pose a grave threat to the human race and will ultimately rise up and conquer us all. However, if they help to minimise queues in supermarkets in the process of their gradual uprising, then I think we can all get on board with it.

The machines started by taking the jobs of many a cashier with the introduction of self-service checkouts, and now Sainsbury's has taken it to a whole new level by launching its first till-free supermarket.

The store in Holborn Circus, London, has been refurbished and now customers can simply fill their baskets with their desired produce, before paying on their phone and leaving.

Sainsbury's has launched the UK's first till-free supermarket. Credit: Sainsbury's
Sainsbury's has launched the UK's first till-free supermarket. Credit: Sainsbury's

In order to do this, customers have to download the supermarket's Smartshop app, which they use to scan the items before paying using Google Pay or Apple Pay. It really couldn't be simpler - if you have a smartphone/Google Pay/Apple Pay.

The system has been put in place as part of a three-month trial and only a help-desk manned by one member of staff will be open to receive cash and card payments during this period - so that queue will ironically be much longer over the next few months.

The downside of all this is that you won't be able to buy booze or cigarettes using the app, as these items require age verification. However, this is just the very early stages of this concept, and who's to say further down the line we might not have our IDs built into the app or something?

The system means customers won't have to queue. Credit: PA
The system means customers won't have to queue. Credit: PA

Sainsbury's Group Chief Digital Officer, Clodagh Moriarty, said the results of the trial would help to determine if, where and when the till-free system is rolled out permanently.

She said: "We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible - technology is key to that.

"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.

"We'll be with our customers and colleagues all the way over the coming months, iterating continuously based on their feedback before we decide if, how and where we make this experience more widely available."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

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