See new Carrefour shop where items are paid for without being scanned

A newly opened supermarket in Paris uses cameras and weight sensors to monitor what items a customer chooses, meaning no need for cashiers or even to scan the products

25 November 2021

French retail giant Carrefour has opened a new high-tech connected supermarket in Paris, with a scanless payment system Pic: ricochet64 / Shutterstock

By Thomas Brent

Carrefour Flash 10/10 is a new supermarket in Paris that promises rapid shopping and payment thanks to technology that means customers do not need to scan the items they want to purchase.

The shop’s slogan is “10 seconds to shop and 10 seconds to pay”, with Carrefour saying that customers can buy items without even taking them out of their bag.

The shop, which is 50 square metres and located in the capital’s 11th district, is the first of its kind in France.

Customers enter the shop and are anonymously tracked as a “virtual avatar”, Carrefour explains on its website. 

There are 60 HD cameras and almost 2,000 sensors connected to the shelves, and an algorithm works to interpret all the data.

When customers pick up a product, it is automatically detected and added to their virtual basket. 

When they have finished shopping, they go to the check-out kiosk, which recognises them and displays the total cost of their shop. Customers can pay with contactless payment, and then leave. 

An electronic receipt is available as well, which customers can get by scanning a QR code. There is also a separate automatic checkout kiosk for any customers wishing to pay by cash or to use a card reader. 

See a video below of someone testing the system. 

Elodie Perthuisot, Carrefour’s executive director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation, said the system meets customers’ expectations.

“They want to be able to enter the store easily, know what they are buying, pay quickly and then leave. Compared with other existing concepts, with Carrefour Flash, customers get speed and accessibility in a unique way,” she wrote in a press release. 

The shop is not completely without staff. There are still four employees who are on hand to open it, maintain it, tidy it, manage e-commerce services (such as click and collect) and provide customers with advice.

They will also be in charge of authorising the sale of alcohol and fixing any issues with the automatic processes. 

Carrefour’s global chief technology and data officer Miguel Angel González Gisbert said the system is 96% accurate. 

Carrefour Flash was developed in collaboration with Californian startup AiFi. 

The system was tested at Carrefour’s head office in Massy in the southern suburbs of Paris for over a year. 

Carrefour said it was able to refine and adapt the concept based on feedback from employees using it on a daily basis. 

The company does not as yet have plans to open any other shops like this in France. 

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