Waitrose tests its first cashless store

Apple Pay will be one of the methods of payment in the cashless Waitrose store
Apple Pay will be one of the methods of payment in the cashless Waitrose store

Waitrose is launching a cashless store in what it claims is a first for the major UK supermarkets.

The store will open in Sky’s new flagship head office and will only allow employees to pay by card or their mobile device via one of five self-service checkouts. 

Waitrose is keen to innovate in the technology space and became one of the first UK retailers to integrate Apple Pay into its payment systems. British consumers will soon also be able to pay with Android mobile devices when Android Pay launches in a few months.

Waitrose director of convenience Jackie Wharton said: "Our convenience model is now more flexible than ever, especially as payment methods and ranges continue to evolve, so we'll look forward to exploring other opportunities like this in the future."

Waitrose’s cashless store at Sky’s headquarters in Osterley will be the first time the upmarket grocer has opened on a workplace campus in almost 20 years.

The supermarket opened its only other office-based store in 1998 when it launched a shop at British Airways' Waterside headquarters in Harmondsworth.

The Osterley branch will become the second smallest store in the retailer’s estate when it opens, standing at just 1,400 sq ft.

There are 3,500 staff based at Sky’s Osterley headquarters and a group of employees met with Waitrose to inform them what they would like to see stocked in the store.  

The range will focus on evening meals and food to go, a selection of fresh produce, celebration cakes, flowers and freshly baked bread and croissants.

Waitrose is bringing on 20 staff to run the store. 

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