Tesco has refurbished its High Holborn Express store as the site of its first ‘just walk out’ branch open to public customers.

The Tesco Express store in High Holborn in central London recently reopened after a period of refurbishment with new pay gates and a host of cameras installed in the ceiling.

Just walk out entrance gate at Tesco, High Holborn, London

Picture courtesy of Kien Tan

The High Holborn store has reopened with new pay gates to enable ‘just walk out’ shopping

While the technology is not yet operational, it is destined to be the first public-facing Tesco store equipped with its Trigo-powered version of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. 

Tesco opened a trial, Trigo tech-powered store for staff at its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City in 2018. Speaking earlier in the year, chief executive Ken Murphy said that Tesco would be “extending that [trial] to another store to check it in a more urban environment”.

He added: “One of the joys of machine learning is it is continuously improving, so we’re feeling confident that we can put it into another store with higher traffic.”

Founded by Michael and Daniel Gabay, Trigo utilises computer-vision-powered technology that supports checkout-free retail experiences, converting existing stores so customers can enter, select the items they want, pay on their device and leave the store.

A Tesco spokesperson refused to confirm a date for when the technology would go live but said the grocer would announce details when there was a date for the store’s opening. 

The news comes as Amazon continues opening its tech-driven c-store Fresh format across the UK, having recently opened its fifth store in north London. 

The High Holborn Express store previously made headlines when it was opened as Tesco’s first cashless shop open to the public in February 2020.

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