Source: Tesco

Kevin Tindall, managing director for Tesco Convenience.

Tesco has launched its second ‘checkout-free’ GetGo store in Chiswell Street, London. The supermarket said a further two GetGo stores would open in “the next few months” – one in Parr’s Way, London and another at Aston University, Birmingham.

All three new stores will have a “new hybrid format” – giving customers the option of using a self-service or attended checkout instead of the ‘just walk out’ app.

“We’ve listened to lots of feedback, and we’ve taken lots of learning,” said Kevin Tindall, MD for Tesco Convenience. “It’s really important to us that our stores are a place where everyone feels welcome. We know that our customers appreciate the ease of being able to shop quickly through a checkout-free store but making the GetGo experience accessible to more customers who want to try it ensures we remain easily the most convenient for everyone. Our hybrid stores will help us to do just that.”

The Grocer reported in July the Chiswell Street store would feature a bank of self-service tills, as well as the Trigo technology that allows customers to scan their Tesco app on entry, then “just walk in and pick their shopping”. Payment and receipts are “settled digitally” via the app.

Speaking to media during a preliminary results call earlier this year, Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said while the Trigo tech “works really, really well” and customers are responding, “we’re now working on a hybrid model that allows customers to do either grab and go and completely frictionless or checkout on exit”.

“We’ll see how that works as well,” he added.

Tesco launched its first public GetGo store in High Holborn in October 2021. It is fitted with cameras on the ceiling and on-shelf weight sensors that monitor customer movements and product picks so they are able to pick items and walk out without stopping at a checkout. This launch store will “continue to offer a purely checkout-free model” the supermarket said.

Data drawn from the High Holborn store reveals shoppers take an average three minutes to complete their shops.

Having the Tesco app is a requirement of using the High Holborn store as well as the checkout-free option of the three new stores. However, customers who don’t have the Tesco app can use the new stores “in the same way as usual”, apart from needing to scan their receipt in order to exit the barriers.

“Colleagues will be on hand to help,” Tesco said. “There will be a section in all stores specifically for age-restricted products, with a separate exit where Tesco colleagues will manually conduct age verification.” 

The supermarket said the product range would be the same as a normal Express store with the same value deals through Clubcard Prices. Stores will be open from 7am to 11pm.

“Whether customers choose the checkout-free option or prefer to use a checkout, we want to make the shopping trip as quick and convenient as possible,” Tindall said. “We are excited to expand our trial of GetGo and to see what customers think about our new hybrid model, which offers them different options for seamless shopping,” he added.

The checkout-free technology provider Trigo – in which Tesco announced an equity investment in 2019 – last week announced it had raised $100m to expand its business into new markets.