Carrefour opens store with facial recognition and sensors

Photo: Cineberg /

Carrefour has opened its own version of Amazon Go in its head office in Massy (near Paris), where the chain is trying out facial recognition and registerless shopping.


Lab store in the vein of Amazon Go

In the small, automated store customers no longer need to pass by the register: they can simply pay by having their faces scanned. The opening was announced back in December and now it has effectively arrived, albeit it only for the French retail group's own staff.


The store, called Flash, measures a modest 48 sqm and offers a range of 1300 references. Carrefour is hoping to develop an answer to Amazon Go, as French trade journal Linéaires reported.


Already in use in China

The product range is very similar to what Amazon Go has to offer and is mostly focused on snacks and quick meals. More importantly, Flash registers its customers' every move using cameras and sensors. Carrefour is hoping to have buyers' accounts charged automatically with each purchase, eliminating the need to pass by a register - even scanning bar codes won't be necessary.


Nevertheless, there still is a payment terminal: at the end of the visit, customers pay by having their faces scanned a They can leave the store afterwards. Thanks to Carrefour's collaboration with Tencent (the company behind the highly lucrative WeChat app), the retailer has already garnered some real-world experience in this area in China. In that country, facial recognition is already in use, both in stores and in the public domain.