Sainsbury’s reinstates cashiers after till-free trial
Written by Hannah McGrath
Sainsbury’s has announced that it is to reinstate manned tills and self-checkout desks after a trial of the till-free store model revealed that customers still wanted the option of paying by cash or card.
The trial, the first of its kind by a major UK supermarket featuring SmartShop Scan and Pay&Go cardless technologies, was rolled out to nine convenience stores in London in April.
During the trial period, customers were able to test shopping with a range of new technologies, including the Sainsbury’s SmartShop app – where customers can scan and pay with their phone with no need to queue or pay at a till.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s said that the app had received a positive response from customers, who appreciated its speed and efficiency.
However, customers also used the opportunity to feedback that when leaving the store the QR codes could have been easier to scan.
The data requirements and slower speeds involved in downloading the SmartShop app were also highlighted as a frustration by users, prompting Sainsbury’s to introduce a one-step sign up process.
The retailer said that take-up of the app was “as we had expected – at peak times better than we’d expected”, but explained that “some customers preferred to pay with cash and card, which sometimes meant they were queuing to use the helpdesk, particularly at peak times of day”.
It added: “This is why we’ve added a manned till and two self-checkouts back into the store so those looking to pay by cash and card can do so quickly and conveniently. We want to be the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop, so it’s really important to us that our customers can pay how they want to.”
Till-free shopping is still available in the Holborn Circus store, as well as eight other convenience stores across London.
“We’ll take the learnings from this experiment to develop our technology even further to help make shopping easier and more convenient for all our customers,” the statement added.