Dutch Albert Heijn has opened its first real convenience stores that use the "tap to go" system to ensure cashier free shopping, with a third one coming next week. Suddenly the company almost equals Amazon's current total of four checkout-free supermarkets; goal is to install the system in all eighty 'AH to go' stores.
After a test period in its own headquarters in Dutch Zaandam at the end of last year, the first two real checkout-free AH To Go stores have opened in the Amsterdam Medical Center, freeing customers from the obligation to queue at a checkout. The system is easy to use: after downloading the app (Android only, iOS and Windows will follow suit), the customer just taps their card or phone against the smart price tag on the shelf to register the purchase. Then they can take the product and shop for more, or quit the store without stopping at the till. After ten minutes, the amount is automatically deducted from the connected account - unless the customer changes their mind.
"This is absolutely a milestone for us," general manager Jan-Willem Dockheer said in a press release. “We want to offer our customers plenty of choice, quality and convenience anytime and anywhere. With ‘tap to go’, we really bring that convenience to the next level. Who waits in a line for fun?” The company wants to roll out the tap to go technology to all its AH To Go convenience stores, without setting a fixed timing.