Sainsbury’s till-free trial ends in tears

Using Sainsbury's SmartShop app

Sainsbury’s has reintroduced checkouts to its Holburn Circus store in London, after a three-month till-free experiment didn’t go quite according to plan.

Customers did their shopping through the Sainsbury’s SmartShop app, which let them scan and pay using their phones – with no need to go near a checkout.

However, as Sainsbury’s said: “It’s clear that not all our customers are ready for a totally till-free store.”

Some shoppers preferred to pay with cash or card, which meant they ended up queuing at the store’s helpdesk.

This prompted Sainsbury’s to install a staffed till and two self-checkouts.

A spokesperson for the supermarket giant commented: “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.

“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.”

Till-free shopping using the app is still available in the Holborn Circus store, as well as eight other Sainsbury’s sites across London.