Tesco opens checkout-free London store, powered by GetGo technology

Tesco has opened its first checkout-free store in High Holborn, central London, enabling customers to shop and pay without scanning a product or using a checkout, using technology from retail tech firm, Trigo.

The rollout of the GetGo technology to Tesco Express High Holborn follows a successful trial at Tesco’s colleague store in Welwyn Garden City, which has been in place since 2019. Tesco Express High Holborn has been a cashless store since it first opened in 2018.

Customers who have the Tesco.com app on their phone can use it to check into the store, pick up the groceries they need and walk straight out again without visiting a checkout. A combination of cameras and weight-sensors will establish what customers have picked up. They will be charged through the Tesco.com app after leaving the store and will receive a receipt on their phone within a few minutes of leaving the store. There will be a section in the store specifically for age-restricted products, with a separate exit where colleagues will manually check ID verification.

“This is a really exciting moment for Tesco as we launch GetGo with customers,” said Tesco Convenience Managing Director, Kevin Tindall. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the shopping experience and our latest innovation offers a seamless checkout for customers on the go, helping them to save a bit more time. This is currently just a one-store trial but we’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond.”

Elle Nadal, Director of Marketing, EMEA, at  cross-channel marketing firm Iterable, said that while Amazon may have been first to market with a checkout-less store, Tesco’s launch of GetGo is an important milestone as technology comes to dominate the retail experience for UK shoppers. 

“Tesco is a brand with an ingrained association with groceries in the UK, giving it a natural edge over a company like Amazon trying to make a splash in a different market. What Tesco lacks, however, is the experience Amazon has in the agile use of technology, making Tesco’s partnership with Trigo a wise move to ensure the long-term success of this till-less store.

“For Amazon and Tesco, and other pioneers in the till-less retail space, success will hinge on converting this technology into more than a one-off launch. Over the last two decades, both have been industry leaders in building reputations for efficiency and customer loyalty, whether through the success of Amazon Prime Delivery or Tesco’s Clubcard programme. In this new era, retail brands need to double down on this spirit of innovation, delivering a seamless and personalised experience for customers, wherever they chose to shop.”