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Pick & Go: Rewe enables cashless shopping in the supermarket

Register, shop, go out. This is how Rewe describes its Pick & Go concept for the first “cash-free” supermarket, which Rewe opened on Tuesday after a five-month test run near Cologne’s Neumarkt in Zeppelinstrasse. However, the Rewe market differs from the “Amazon Go” stores, which manage entirely without a cash register and which opened a few years ago in the USA. Because if necessary, customers can shop in it in the old fashion and pay at a till with a human cashier. Rewe calls this hybrid shopping.

If you simply want to walk in, shop and take your purchases straight from the supermarket without having to queue at the checkout, you have to register with the Rewe Pick & Go app on your smartphone before making your purchase and use it to register the purchase at an entrance barrier. By accepting the data protection regulations, customers can then pass the barrier. The purchase takes place as usual: Put the products in the shopping cart and you’re done. “Intelligent” cameras and sensors on the shelves register which products end up in the shopping cart or in shopping baskets or rucksacks that you have brought with you, and which products are put back if necessary. That should also work if several people shop together, for example a family.

Rewe states that the entire range can be purchased in the store, including fresh baked products, fruit and vegetables and hot food and drinks such as latte-to-go, i.e. products that are not as easy to grasp as a Package of detergent.

Customers then no longer have to go to the cash register. You can leave the store with your purchases and automatically receive the receipt on your smartphone. Complaints can be made 24 hours after purchase via the Pick & Go app or in the store itself, Rewe promises.

Rewe wants to put data protection very seriously. The images recorded by customers are to be processed in a “data-saving manner”. They are only used for the shopping process; face recognition does not take place. However, according to Rewe, customers who shop again in the store can be recognized by the system as returnees. Anyone who is skeptical about checkout-free purchases will pay for purchases at a normal checkout as before. These customers do not have to register before making a purchase.

Rewe has extensively tested the Pick & Go system presented in May 2021 with its hybrid shopping concept with its employees over the past five months. Over 300 employees are said to have been involved and made around 3,000 purchases. The Pick & Go store cannot do without employees, emphasizes Rewe. As in other supermarkets of the same size, 13 employees are employed there.

Rewe works on the Pick & Go project with technology from Trigo Vision Ltd. A 3D model of the supermarket is created in which the movements of the customers are digitally mapped without being recognizable. Your privacy should be preserved in the best possible way.

The company did not announce whether and when Rewe will open further Pick & Go stores.


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