Tesco trials cashless store, scales back bakeries

Tesco has opened its first cashless store, while also making changes to its in-store bakeries this week.

The Tesco Express store on High Holborn in central London now has self-service tills which accept a range of electronic payment methods, including debit cards, credit cards and Apple Pay.

The system was first trialled at its Welwyn Garden City headquarters campus in 2018, which is now also piloting a checkout-free method of payment, allowing customers to scan products on mobile devices to deduct payment directly before they walk out of the store.

Tesco has previously said some of its convenience stores in Britain were already only receiving 20 per cent of payments by cash, making a wider cashless roll-out likely in future.

Meanwhile, a "big shift in customer tastes and preferences" has caused the supermarket chain to review its bakeries, as customers are buying fewer traditional loaves of bread and are increasingly looking for a wider range of options, with sales of wraps, bagels and flatbreads growing.

From May, Tesco will change these areas of larger stores, maintaining baking in 257 stores, while in 201 other stores the most popular products will continue to be baked from scratch, with other products moving to part-baked. A further 58 stores will convert the bakery to having all products delivered pre-prepared, then baked and finished in store.

As a result, there will be 1,816 bakery colleagues at risk of redundancy.

"At this difficult time, our priority will be to support those colleagues impacted, including finding an alternative role from the many thousands of vacancies we will have available across our store networks between now and May, for those who wish to stay with us," read a statement

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