Retail: we tested one of the first supermarkets without cashiers in France

Imagine doing your shopping without going through the traditional cash register, its queue and product scanning: it is now possible in a supermarket in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Carrefour opened a store without cashiers or cashiers on Thursday, November 25. franceinfo takes you to its shelves.

Take, for example, a package of pasta, bolognese sauce and toilet paper. On this point, nothing changes: inside the 50 square meters of the connected store, you have to look among the 900 products on offer.

What changes, however, is the checkout, with the promise of faster and easier purchases. “There, you put yourself at the level of the blue dot and your basket will be displayed in real time. All you have to do is pay”, explains Nicolas Safis, innovation director within the Carrefour group.

How can you get to the cash register and find yourself in front of a computer that knows everything you have without scanning anything? “When you are in the store, you are captured by one of the sixty cameras on the ceiling. The movements of customers are therefore monitored very precisely”, explains Nicolas Safis.

The autonomous checkouts of the Carrefour supermarket without cashiers, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, November 25, 2021. (VALENTIN HOUINATO / RADIO FRANCE)

And they are not the only ones: the products are also traced as closely as possible. “Each shelf is equipped with several weight sensors that will be able to detect when a product is removed, placed on its shelf or even placed at the other end of the store.”

If the technique is impressive, consumers seem cautious. “I’m not sure that’s a good thing”, confides a woman. “It scares me that everything is robotized and that there is no longer any room left for humans and contact.” If that other customer finds the concept “interesting from a technical point of view”, he says to himself “humanly against”.

The Carrefour group ensures that no employee has lost their position in connection with the opening of the store. They will also be four to work in this new supermarket, which will serve as a test before extending the initiative or not.

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