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Tesco follows Aldi and Amazon as it launches its first ever checkout-free supermarket store

Image ©Licensed to Parsons Media. 18/10/2021. London, United Kingdom. Tesco launch their first Frictionless Store in Holborn, London, UK. Picture by Ben Stevens / Parsons Media

Tesco has launched its first checkout-free store where shoppers can pick up their shopping and leave without needing to pay at a till. Tesco's 'GetGo' store opened in High Holborn in London today (19 October). It will be open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm.

The shop, which is the first of its kind for Tesco, follows similar initiatives from Amazon, which launched its first till-free Amazon Go store in the UK in February. Aldi also opened its first checkout-free shop last month. Both Amazon and Aldi's stores are also in London. 

At the moment, this is just a one-store trial but Tesco says it will review customers' response to it.

See our Supermarket Shopping Tips guide for info on how to slash your shopping bills.

How the store works in practice and how shoppers are billed 

To shop in store you will need to use the Tesco.com app. If you don’t have this already, you will need to download it and create an account before visiting the store. You then check-in at the entrance and shop as you normally would. There are no tills at the new store.

The cameras in store will detect which items you've put in your basket and once you walk out with your goods you will be charged through the Tesco.com app, receiving a receipt via your mobile phone within a few minutes of leaving. Tesco said that even if you pick something up from the shelf and put it in your basket, but then put it back, you will not be charged unless you leave the store with the item.

Tesco added that the in-store cameras do not use facial recognition technology but instead track body movements.

You can dispute any incorrect additions to your bill

If an item has been incorrectly added to your bill, Tesco says you can request a refund through the app. Alternatively, you can contact its dedicated customer service team if you've experienced any issues.  

Tesco Frictionless Store Opening

You can earn Clubcard points on purchases 

Shoppers can connect their Clubcard to their Tesco.com app to benefit from Clubcard prices and to earn Clubcard points on their shopping as normal. These discounts and points will be automatically added as you shop.

You'll still need to have your ID checked to buy certain items, such as booze

There is an age restricted section in the store for items such as alcohol, with a separate exit where staff can check a customer's ID before they leave. 

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