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Jack’s is the new discount supermarket in Britain. Started by Tesco, they want to give Aldi and Lidl a run for their money. With a smart shop app, they might do quite well – here in Europe, discounter queues can be nerve-wracking at best. For those tech savvy enough, the use of an app will enhance the in-store experience.

Jack's sign with Tesco logo
© Joe Giddens/PA Wire/dpa

The app builds on Tesco’s bigger plan to launch Scan and Go technology in their main stores. They plan on testing Scan and Go at their Express convenience store, which is part of their Welwyn Garden City headquarters. 100 staff members will be testing the app’s abilities in the purpose-built store. According to internetretailing news, Tesco is also using the Express store to study shoppers’ reactions to shopping in a cashless environment.

Dave Lewis, the Tesco chief executive, said the technology is a huge leap forward across the retailer’s chain. There are some technical hurdles, however, including whether people would simply leave the store without paying for an item. Most issues seem to have been overcome since the tech is going to be used at Jack’s.

Is It Profitable?

Lewis had this to say as to whether the technology will bolster profits:

“The technology exists to do it, but does the customer behaviour support it? If the margin is 2-3%, you don’t need to lose very much to make it unprofitable. In our stores in central London, Manchester and Birmingham, lunchtime queues are a problem. Anything we can do to speed that up will be a benefit for customers.”

The Checkout-less Trend

Tesco and/or Jack’s is just another company that has started introducing checkout-less shopping. Companies like Amazon Go, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Budgens in the UK and MediaMarktSaturn in Austria have already joined the ranks of the cashless world. MediaMarktSaturn is planning to use cashierless payments in their Hamburg store over Christmas after the pilot programme in Austria was a successful.