Tuesday 10 September 2019 2:08 pm

'Customers aren't ready': Sainsbury's ends till-free store pilot at Holborn branch

Sainsbury’s has said not all customers are ready for a till-free store as it ended a smartphone-only pilot scheme at a central London branch. 

The three-month trial came to an end as the supermarket reintroduced a manned till and two self-checkout points in it’s Holborn Circus store.

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Tills were removed in April and customers were able to use the Smartshop app to scan groceries as they browsed the store, pay in the app and scan a code before leaving to confirm payment.

However, customers found the mobile QR codes difficult to scan when leaving the store, prompting the supermarket to design new ones.

Other shoppers were unwilling to use their mobile data allowance to download the Sainsbury’s app, and found the store’s wi-fi sign up process too long. 

Meanwhile, some consumers still prefer to use cash and card, which created long queues at the store’s help desk. 

“Take-up was as we had expected – at peak times better than we’d expected – and it’s clear that not all our customers are ready for a totally till-free store,” the company said on its website.

Read more: Sainsbury’s launches mobile scan and go trial

“The experiment created excitement amongst customers, with many keen to check out the store, download the app and test out this way of shopping,” Sainsbury’s added. 

Till-free shopping is still available at the Holborn Circle store, as well as eight other convenience stores in London.

Main image credit: Getty