Opinion: Don't believe the hysteria over till-free stores

Natalie Berg

We all know it’s only a matter of time before Amazon Go reaches UK shores. Trademarks have long been registered, the rumours have been flying and, having debuted in New York City earlier this month, it’s fair to say that Amazon has an appetite for urban expansion.

This explains Sainsbury’s recent scramble to open the first till-free store in the UK, a PR coup ahead of Amazon’s inevitable incursion.

And they’re not alone – pretty much every grocer from Tesco to Marks & Spencer is trialling scan-and-go technology, self-ordering kiosks are now the norm at McDonald’s and, meanwhile, Argos quietly launched its first self-service digital store last month. Time is the new currency.

Checkout-free shopping will particularly cater to busy city workers on their lunch break and it will undoubtedly hit travel retail hard – till-free will become the norm in airports and train stations five years from now. But is this really the future of retail?

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription

Retail Week

Register to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • 3 free articles a month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.