Shoppers at a Tesco ‘checkout-free’ GetGo store are being warned on store signage they might be overcharged for reduced to clear items.
Tesco’s GetGo stores are fitted with cameras on the ceiling and on-shelf weight sensors that monitor customer movements and product picks, so shoppers are able to take items and walk out without using a checkout.
But the supermarket conceded to The Grocer the system is not able to register price drops on reduced to clear items that could change several times a day. To purchase them, shoppers are being told to “wait in a blue circle” or find a member of staff who will manually scan the discounted items. Failing to do so means they “may be overcharged”.
The signage at Tesco’s Chiswell Street, London GetGo store was spotted by PwC senior retail advisor Kien Tan, who said the workaround “defeats the purpose” of ‘just walk out’ shopping.
“More and more stuff isn’t eligible. Random bits of bakery saying you can’t buy this on GetGo. GetGo is plastered all over the outside of the store, nobody uses it and half the stuff I can’t actually buy on GetGo,” he said.
“It’s a manual thing. It interrupts your flow. It’s hassle,” Tan added.
The checkout-free technology provider of Tesco’s GetGo stores, Trigo – in which Tesco announced an equity investment in 2019 – said its systems did support reduced to clear products “as well as other unique and specific use cases that are an important part of the supermarket environment like promotion stands, produce and deli products by weight”.
“The decision to implement any of these use cases is with each of Trigo’s retail partners, depending on need and their desired shopping experience,” a spokesman for the company said.
“As a growing number of retailers continue to deploy Trigo’s technology proposition, it is the case that, depending on the company, the timing at which certain elements of that overall offering are made available to customers will naturally vary,” they added.
Tesco said it was looking at a solution to remove the manual scanning “element of the journey” to allow customers to shop reduced items “like any other”.
The supermarket has four GetGo stores – three in London and one in Birmingham at Aston University. The first was launched in High Holborn, central London in late 2021 and the second, in Chiswell Street, just under a year later.
All the stores now feature checkouts in what the supermarket called a “new hybrid format”. The supermarket says it is “adding more GetGo stores all the time”.