Tesco launches first checkout-free high street store in London

Above: Tesco promotional video

Tesco is launching its first checkout-free high street store where shoppers can pick up their groceries and leave without the need for a till.

It is the latest retail giant to open a store where checkouts are replaced by high-tech cameras designed to track the items shoppers place in their baskets.

The firm’s high street store trial, which it has called GetGo, launches in High Holborn in London on Tuesday.

Amazon launched its first Amazon Go grocery shop in the UK in February, before expanding to five more sites, while Aldi opened its own till-free shop last month.

Tesco had already been testing its “frictionless” technology at a trial site within the supermarket group’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City since 2019.

Tesco's first Frictionless Store has been set up in Holborn

The retailer said the technology had now been lifted from the trial site after a lengthy period of testing and improvements.

To use the store, shoppers will need to use the Tesco.com app, scanning this in as they enter the store.

They will then pick up the items they wish to buy and walk straight out of the store, receiving a receipt and being charged for the products once they have left.

It will register the items people pick up using cameras as well as weight sensors to recognise when items are taken off shelves.

The new model of shopping is taking place in a Tesco Express it launched as a cashless store in 2018.

Customer using the Tesco GetGo store in Holborn

It stressed that the move away from cashiers will not reduce the number of staff employed in stores, with the High Holborn site continuing to employ 22 workers, which it says is in line with other convenience stores.

There is also a section in the store specifically for age-restricted products, with a separate exit where staff will check ID.

Kevin Tindall, managing director of Tesco Convenience, said: “This is a really exciting moment for Tesco as we launch GetGo with customers.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the shopping experience and our latest innovation offers a seamless checkout for customers on the go, helping them to save a bit more time.

“This is currently just a one-store trial, but we’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond.”