Woolies' big plan to get rid of checkouts

Woolworths is trialling new technology that may see the end of checkouts – self-service or otherwise – altogether.

At their Double Bay store in Sydney, the supermarket giant is letting customers try a new “scan and go” system, which Woolies say could potentially “transform the shopping experience”.

From Thursday, thousands of shoppers signed up to its loyalty program will be able to downland a special app to their phones.

Customers can then choose their products, scan the barcode through their phone and then directly drop the items into their bags.

There will be special scales to weigh fruit and veg, which will display a barcode that can be scanned and give the correct price into the app.

When customers are finished shopping, they have to do one final scan at a terminal near the exit. The app will figure out the total price and automatically subtract the amount from a linked card.

Woolworths head of payments Paul Monnington said customers wanted the company to make shopping more convenient.

“We believe smartphone technology and mobile payments have the potential to transform the shopping experience for our customers in the future.

“This trial is not only about testing new technology, it’s also about seeing how our customers and teams respond to a completely new style of shopping.”

Mr Monnington said customers could still pay the normal way at Double Bay.

When the trial finishes, he said Woolies will “assess future options”.

Woolies isn’t the first in the world to try out scan and go technology. Amazon has opened a few “Amazon Go” stores which employs the same concept. However, Woolworths says it’s the first in Australia to trial the new technology.

Article created in partnership with Over60