Tesco is teaming up with an Israeli startup to become the next food retailer to go cashierless. Anonymous sources have revealed to Bloomberg that Tesco, the U.K.’s largest grocery chain, has partnered with Trigo Vision, the creator of a system of cameras and software, enabling retailers to automatically charge customers.
The company recently said that checkout-free stores are “one thing we’re testing, but it’s not something we’re ready to roll out yet,” a spokeswoman said.
Trigo has raised $7 million from Vertex Ventures and Hetz Ventures, and has partnered with Israel’s largest supermarket chain, Shufersal, on the pilot branch in Tel Aviv. There are reportedly plans to utilize the technology there as well.
While the move to cashierless stores will help Tesco trim its workforce over time and boost profit margins, it will also enable the company to better compete with Amazon, which could open as many as 3,000 checkout-free Amazon Go stores in the U.S., and is expanding its partnership with the U.K.’s Wm Morrison Supermarkets.
The first Amazon Go opened last January at the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The location is filled with technologies that aren’t commonly found in a convenience store in the U.S. The store sells sandwiches, salads, meals and snacks, as well as wine, beer and other beverages — shelves are also stocked with meat products and meal kits.
Amazon included high-tech conveniences, such as speedy checkout, to reach new brick-and-mortar customers, which takes away the need to wait in lines to pay upon exiting the store. While the store doesn’t need cashiers, there are reportedly workers who perform such tasks as checking IDs for alcohol purchases, as well as preparing food in the store’s kitchen.
Last month, the eCommerce giant opened a location in New York City on the second level of a shopping mall at Brookfield Place in the city’s downtown.