French supermarket chain Casino follows the trend and opens a shop without check-out near the Champs Elysées. In this way it becomes a French variant of the concept of Amazon Go in the United States.
Eye-catcher of the new concept is the facial recognition technology which allows customers to pay online with the Casino App or at the self-service checkouts. According to CEO Tina Schuler, Casino tries to create a place that makes shopping easy and fun. Customers can test and taste products in the supermarkets before buying them - and even eat them in the store, at any time of the day or night. The new store will offer a total of 6,000 products, including organic fruits and vegetables.
Like all retailers, Casino is trying to adapt to the new challenges of online shopping. In addition to this threat, Casino is also defending itself against investors' concerns about debt and fierce competition within France. This caused the shares to fall by 30% in value since the beginning of the year. Apparently Casino rejected an takeover from Carrefour last month, although the big rival denied having made an offer.
Not the only one
Casino is not an isolated case with this kind of experimentation: earlier this year British Sainsbury's tested a new technology that gives customers the option of simply taking their shopping goods off the shelves and walking out of the store. Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK, is also currently experimenting with a system where customers have to scan the products on their smartphone and have to pay later. Dutch chain Albert Heijn is also testing Tap to go-shops in Amsterdam.