Sainsbury's Experimental Till-Free Only Supermarket Has Failed Because You're All Stuck in the Past

By Shabana Arif on at

The supermarket tried to embrace the future and got dragged back down thanks to a bunch of technologically-challenged cretins.

That's not the exact quote, because no PR person in their right mind would cop up to that. But essentially that's what has happened, and now the shop in London that ditched its tills earlier this year in favour of having customers use its SmartShop Scan, Pay & Go app instead, is going back to the dark ages.

The process should have been fairly simple; you head inside, grab and scan what you want, then use the QR code to leave the store so you can't play silly buggers and try to do a runner with anything. And just in case anything went wrong, you can find a help desk manned by an honest-to-goodness human being.

But according to Sainsbury's blog post, the basic concept was missed by a lot of people who ended up queuing at the help desk to pay by cash or card.

"This is why we’ve added a manned till and two self-checkouts back into the store so those looking to pay by cash and card can do so quickly and conveniently. 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."

The blog post also covered the slew of changes the supermarket has made to make the till-free experience more efficient and user-friendly. [BBC News]