Hand holding phone showing 7 Eleven app in a store

Checking out 7-Eleven’s new checkout-free concept store.

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Just a fortnight ago, 7-Eleven launched its first “cashless and cardless” store in Australia. It’s the first store of its kind in the country, so we thought we better head down and take a look.

First and foremost, it was more than a touch tricky to find. When we did finally locate the store, hidden around a few corners and at the base of 7-Eleven’s new head office (we discovered), it was sparkling clean, well-lit and perfectly stocked.

Along with all the usual suspects at your typical 7-Eleven, there was a significant section dedicated to fresh food, a sign of the company’s steadily growing food offering.

Hand holding phone showing 7 Eleven app in a store
Photo credit: Twitter @7ElevenAus

In-store signage explained that the only way to make a purchase is through the 7-Eleven app, though this works a bit differently to Amazon Go in the US, where you just use your app to enter the store, then grab what you need and leave.

Rather, it works like Sainsbury’s SmartShop that our UK office wrote about last month.

With the dedicated 7-Eleven Mobile Checkout app, once you’ve registered and created a profile, you scan the barcode on the product with the in-built barcode and the purchase is automatically charged to your credit or debit card.

The tech behind the scenes must be pretty impressive, but with no one else in the store to line up behind at the non-existent checkout, we didn’t really feel like we were saving much time. However, once the app is all set up and ready to go on your phone, it’s easy to see how this could come in handy at peak times in busy stores.

We look forward to seeing how 7-Eleven’s new system rolls out across the 670+ stores around the country, and which retailer will be next to try their hand at going checkout-free.

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