Coles predicted to be checkout free within the next 10 years

Posted: 16 January 2020 10:37 am

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The future is apparently right around the corner as customers will just be able to walk out of supermarkets – no need to "checkout".

We've all been the victims of long checkout lines at grocery stores. They definitely feel like the bane of your entire existence.

Sure, the self-checkouts are great but ever been stuck behind someone who decided to do a week's worth of grocery shopping at the self-serve? Nightmare.

However, according to Coles executives, the future reality of the checkout system could be very, very different. In fact, supermarkets could simply have checkout-free shopping in the next 10 years.

This prediction comes as a result of innovation in retail technology and an increasing focus on costs quickly making checkouts redundant. The goal is for artificial intelligence-connected sensors to detect the contents of your trolley or basket and automatically charge you as you walk out of the store.

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"I have no doubt in the next 10 years, customers will be able to take the product off the shelf, put it in their basket, walk out and have it all paid for," Coles' head of commercial and express, Greg Davis, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Apparently, this type of technology is already being used by Amazon in its physical stores in the United States, which means the sensors have already been developed. The sensors at these Amazon stores automatically charge customers to their Amazon account for what sensors have detected they walk out of the store with.

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Davis noted how quickly technology is changing the way we shop by reminding us that in 2009, only 60 out of 800 Coles stores had self serve checkouts. Fast forward to 2020 and every single Coles store has a self serve checkout and "50% of our customers use them when checking out. It's the biggest visible change at Coles in the last decade".

Woolworths has also begun testing a new type of checkout service, called Scan&Go. This allows shoppers to scan items on their phones and pay for them digitally before exiting the store.

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These changes could have a big impact on the supermarket industry in a number of ways. It would see less of a need for checkout servers but a decline in shoplifting and thieving. However, there is the question of what happens if someone's card declines? Or there aren't enough funds in the account connected to the store?

One thing is for sure, we're all probably going to stop buying a lot of chocolate at the checkout and that's something we can all appreciate a little bit.

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