Morrisons is set to trial an unmanned store with no staff under radical new plans.
The tech-driven store will allow customers to grab items from the shelves and bag them up without needing to scan anything at the tills.
All shoppers will have to download a smartphone app prior to their visit and scan it before entering the store.
Cameras will then track the items customers pick up and put in their baskets, before they are charged through the app.
It is understood Morrisons, which is currently at the centre of a bidding war, is planning to unveil the largely unstaffed branch outside its headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
The first pilot store is not yet open to the public but it is expected to be ready ‘within months’ with more branches to follow by the end of the year, reported the Daily Mail.
It is hoped the move will rival Amazon Fresh stores, which launched in the UK with its Ealing branch in London in March. The stores use cameras and shelf sensors to tot up the shopping bill.
In a race to become the first supermarket to open a contactless store this year, Tesco revealed last month that it is working on a similar project.
It ran a pilot store at its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertforshire, and plans to open more.
The plans come after a study found that more than 40% of Britons now want a more contactless shopping experience following the pandemic.
A total of 34% of customers said self-service tills give them anxiety due to cleanliness, while 62% want to get their shopping done in under 20 minutes, found shopping app Ubamarket.
CEO Will Broome said: ‘The research clearly shows that the Coronavirus pandemic has completely transformed both retailer and consumer behaviour- in particular when it comes to purchasing their goods.
‘The pandemic has raised huge questions around hygiene and safety, with particular concerns around consumer confidence.’
‘Ultimately, if retailers are willing to implement retail technology, we could make the weekly shop far more safe and hygienic for everybody in the UK.’
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