Co-op to introduce 'scan and go' app meaning customers can skip checkout

Technology has been trialled at a Manchester store and could be rolled out across UK starting this summer

Ben Chapman
Wednesday 07 March 2018 13:29
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The app is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to cover all items across a supermarket's range
The app is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to cover all items across a supermarket's range

Co-op is trialling a new “scan and go” app that allows shoppers to scan groceries on their phones and leave the store without visiting a checkout.

Co-op has partnered with Mastercard which will process payments for the app.

The app is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to cover all items in a store. Sainsbury’s has trialled a similar system but only for its meal deal range at one store, while Waitrose offers customers the option to scan their own items but they still have to visit a till before they leave the shop.

Co-op has been trialling the system at a store inside its customer support centre in Manchester which is not open to the public. The member-owned group said it would seek to roll out pay-in-the-aisle technology to the public this summer.

“Scan and go” is part of a trend towards self-service and automation in retail that could see millions of jobs in the sector put under threat in coming years.

Amazon launched its own automated supermarket - Amazon Go - in Seattle this year. The e-commerce giant’s technology goes one stage further than Co-op's in that customers do not have to scan items; they simply take them off the shelves and the shop’s computer system works out the final bill.

Co-op’s director of retail support, Matthew Speight, said: “It is all about consumer choices and convenience.

“Our ambition is to harness technology to deliver the shopping experience that our diverse customer-base requires.

“We recognise there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat - it is all part of the service.

“Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.'

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