As the first German retailer, Rewe is testing "Pick & Go" technology. In a store in Cologne, customers will soon be able to do their shopping without having to pay at the checkout. However, it will still be possible to shop and pay in the traditional way.
Comparable to Amazon Go
The first tests by selected employees will start this month. The intention is to open up the technology to regular customers by the end of the summer. Those who then want to make use of the autonomous check-out will have to register via a special when entering the store. They can then take any product they want from the shelves and simply walk out of the store at the end of their visit. The invoice will then appear automatically in the app.
Customers can buy all kinds of products this way: fruit and vegetables, dry food, frozen food and even freshly brewed coffee for the road. Intelligent cameras and sensors on the shelves, as well as other high-tech components, register everything. However, customers are not personally identifiable in the recorded images, the German retailer assures.
Rewe has been working on the project for more than two years. "Technological development is rapid," says Christoph Eltze, divisional director for retail Germany. The main thing is to find the right partners. "In addition, there are other decisive factors to consider in food retail such as the different formats, the wide assortments and the different requirements, especially with regard to data protection in Germany."
The Cologne supermarket where the test is taking place has 13 employees. "Customers greatly appreciate the opportunity for personal contact," says Stefan Weiß, head of sales at the retailer. "Questions about products, the product range, offers or advice on shopping will all be given more space in the future. And those who prefer to pay for their purchases in person at the checkout will still be able to do so at any time in this store," he concludes.