Spar Netherlands Introduces Checkout-Free Shopping In Utrecht

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Spar Netherlands Introduces Checkout-Free Shopping In Utrecht

Spar Netherlands is introducing a new checkout-free shopping system at its Spar University store in Hogeschool Utrecht.

On Wednesday, the retailer launched the new system, Skippen, which allows customers to scan their own groceries with their smartphone as they shop, and complete the payment online via app, without going through a physical checkout.

The feature has been added to the existing Spar University app, and uses ABN Amro's payment service Tikkie to complete transactions.

Additionally, once the payment is completed, users will receive a reward that can be used on their next visit to the store, such as a free cup of coffee.


Smart Shopping

Spar University started in 2013 as a 100% self-checkout retail concept, and there are no cashiers at any of its stores, only self-service checkouts.

The retailer says that the introduction of Skippen is the next step in the development of 'simple, smart and fast shopping', and it plans to roll out the system in all of its stores by the end of 2018.

There are currently nine Spar University stores on campuses in cities across the Netherlands, including Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Nijmegan, and Delft.

The retailer says that the focus of these stores is on convenience and food-to-go products, with the aim of meeting the needs of university employees, students and passers-by. They also feature an online shopping service through the Spar University app.


Retail Tech

The development of checkout-free supermarkets has been lead by online retail giant Amazon, which launched its high-tech Amazon Go store in Seattle in January, after over a year of testing.

Meanwhile, retailers across the US, Europe and Asia have been experimenting with 'scan and go' technologies, including Walmart, Coop Denmark and Auchan China.

In the Netherlands, a similar system to Spar's Skippen is already being trialled by Albert Heijn. The retailer is opening its first checkout-free AH To Go store in Amsterdam this summer, and plans to roll out the technology to 80 convenience stores in the future.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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