Waitrose to open cashless store

Waitrose is launching a new cashless store in what it claims is a first for the major UK supermarkets. The store will open in Sky’s new flagship head office and will only allow employees to pay by card or their mobile device via one of five self-service checkouts.

It will be the first Waitrose to open on a workplace campus in almost 20 years and the second smallest store in the retailer’s estate. Sky employees will only be able to pay by card or their mobile devices at one of the five self-service checkouts in the store. The store will be run by Waitrose employees with 20 jobs created.

There will be a focus on evening meals and food to go, including sandwiches, wraps and sushi, as well as a selection of fresh produce and ingredients, celebration cakes, flowers, store cupboard staples, and bread and croissants.
Waitrose director of convenience, Jackie Wharton, said: “Opening on the Sky campus is an exciting opportunity for us to respond to how customers wish to shop in this flagship workplace setting. Our convenience model is now more flexible than ever, especially as payment methods and ranges continue to evolve, so we’ll look forward to exploring other opportunities like this in the future.”

Many supermarkets have already reduced the number of conventional checkouts manned by real people in favour of self-service tills.

There is a daily cap of £30 per transaction on spending with contactless plastic cards and mobile phone apps like Apple Pay and Android Pay in order to limit the dangers of fraud, and at the same time tech giants, notably Apple, Samsung and Google, have also developed mobile phone apps to allow people to pay with their phone. Barclays has also developed apps and wristbands that can be tapped on till readers to make purchases or pay for a bus ride. However Tesco’s new PayQwiq mobile payment app busts this limit and allows purchases of up to £400 in a single visit.

Waitrose is keen to innovate in the technology space and became one of the first UK retailers to integrate Apple Pay into its payment systems. British consumers will soon also be able to pay with Android mobile devices when Android Pay launches in a few months.

Waitrose director of convenience Jackie Wharton said: “Our convenience model is now more flexible than ever, especially as payment methods and ranges continue to evolve, so we’ll look forward to exploring other opportunities like this in the future.”