Sainsbury’s C-Store adopts Amazon’s cashierless technology

The British grocer Sainsbury’s is the first international third-party retailer to use Amazon’s cash register “Just Walk Out” technology.

Amazon said Monday that Sainsbury’s has opened a Just Walk Out-operated convenience store called SmartShop Pick & Go in London’s Holborn Circus. The contactless technology integrates with Sainsbury’s SmartShop mobile app and enables customers to scan and pay for items while shopping without having to wait at the checkout.

“I am pleased to announce that we have partnered with Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, to bring a cash register free convenience store with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology to their Holborn Circus location in the heart of London. “Said Dilip Kumar, Vice President of Physical Retail and Technology at Amazon, in a blog post. “Our collaboration with Sainsbury’s means that they have become the first international business customer of the Just Walk Out technology. With the opening of the Pick & Go SmartShop, Amazon also retrofitted a store with Just Walk Out technology for the first time, ie the store uses the existing Sainsbury’s facility with our technology. “

To enter the SmartShop Pick & Go Store, customers scan a QR code that is linked to a credit or debit card using the SmartShop app. Just Walk Out technology automatically adds items that customers take off the shelves to their virtual shopping cart in the app and removes anything they put back. Shoppers exit the store by scanning the QR code on the automatic gates and their linked card will be charged for the selected items. After leaving the shop, customers receive a receipt by email. Staff are available in the stores to assist customers and keep the shelves in stock.


To enter the SmartShop Pick & Go store, customers scan a QR code in the SmartShop app that opens the gate.

London-based Sainsbury’s found that the Holborn Circus store was chosen for Just Walk Out technology because it focuses on take-away food and drink for busy local workers who want their shopping to be done asap. SmartShop Pick & Go carries a selection of on-the-go food, candy, dairy, packaged meat and fresh produce, and the store houses a beer, wine and liquor department. Store clerks check IDs for alcohol purchases.

“We’re always looking for new ways to make shopping easy and convenient for our customers,” said Clo Moriarty, retail and digital director at Sainsbury’s, in a statement. “We are pleased about the introduction of SmartShop Pick & Go, which enables our customers to make contactless, cashier-free shopping, and we look forward to your feedback.”

Just Walk Out uses overhead computer vision cameras, weight sensors, and deep learning technology to identify goods that shoppers are taking off or returning to their shelves and tracking selected items in a virtual shopping cart. Kumar found that the application of the technology at SmartShop Pick & Go integrates with Sainsbury’s digital infrastructure in the store.

“The integration of Sainsbury’s SmartShop app into Amazon’s Just Walk Out shopping experience is new. It is the first time we have enabled a business customer to use their own app to manage store entry, exit, receipts and payments for shoppers, ”he said. “The integration will allow Sainsbury’s to leverage existing systems and their buyers will be able to use the Sainsbury’s app they’re used to.”

SmartShop is available in around 1,400 Sainsbury’s stores and sales through the app are up 173% year over year, the UK grocer reported. In supermarkets with SmartShop cell phones, 30% of sales are now generated via the app, more than twice as much as in the previous year.

Amazon rolled out Just Walk Out in Amazon Go stores and then offered it in former Amazon Go grocery stores in the US and Amazon Fresh store in West London, before the technology last June in a new Amazon Fresh supermarket in Bellevue, Washington, was presented. The Bellevue Amazon Fresh opening marked the premiere of Just Walk Out in a major grocery store. US Amazon Fresh Stores also offer the multifunctional Amazon Dash Cart Smart Shopping Cart that allows users to find items, track purchases, and skip the checkout.

In September, Amazon announced plans to bring Just Walk Out to Whole Foods Market stores, starting with new locations in Washington, DC and Sherman Oaks, California due to open next year. The technology is also offered in six other Amazon Fresh UK stores in the Greater London area – accessible via the Amazon app – as well as in three non-Amazon locations in the US, including the Javits Center Store in New York City, the Forum Store in Los Angeles and the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.

Earlier this month, Amazon and Starbucks teamed up to open the first Starbucks pickup store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with two more due to open in the city in early 2022. With Just Walk Out technology, the outlet combines the offers of a Starbucks café and Amazon Go convenience store.

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