Close this search box.

Waitrose trials mobile self-scan at three stores, but self-scanning comes at a price: £465bn

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

myWaitrose customers can now scan product barcodes on their phones as they place goods in their basket, easing their checkout experience at three Waitrose stores.

The ‘scan as you shop’ trial, which complements the existing Quick Check service, is taking place in Waitrose shops in Clapham Common, Meanwood and Milngavie, with a view to rolling out the service to all Waitrose branches in 2016 if successful.

All myWaitrose customers’ are now automatically registered for Quick Check and can try the mobile self-scan service in the trial branches by downloading the android or iOS app from Apple or Google Play and registering their myWaitrose card.

Matt Clifton, Waitrose Head of Retail Change, explains: “We are always looking at ways for technology to make our customers’ lives easier. The ease and choice of checkout options is becoming increasingly important to customers as the trend for shopping little and often continues to grow. Making Quick Check available to myWaitrose customers and exploring the opportunity for them to shop with us on their mobiles in-store means we continue to deliver that convenience.”

However, a study by, suggests that Britons abandon items at self-scan because the queues are too long, they can’t get assistance from staff or they’re struggling to scan the item. As a result, supermarkets lose £486b per year, the company calculated.

2,481 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated they were in control of their own weekly and monthly shopping and had used self-scan on at least one occasion, were quizzed on their experiences using retail technology whilst shopping.

Chris Johnson, Head of Operations at, explains: “We’re shocked at how much supermarkets are losing on an annual basis – £486b is an immense amount of money. Yes, £2 here and there doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but add that up and what you have is a fortune that supermarkets are losing out on.”

Waitrose’s Quick Check service was first introduced more than 10 years ago and is available in two-thirds of Waitrose branches and allows Waitrose shoppers to scan with a handset as they shop. As well as convenience, they also immediately see offers on scanned products and keep a running total of spend. Adding it to a mobile app makes a great deal of sense.

Waitrose’s parent company John Lewis Partnership , an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, has always been quick to embrace mobile and has just reported that m-commerce has grown 34% across its brand in the past year. At the same time, online sales at Waitrose, a Leading IRUK Top500 retailer, were down by 2.9% on last year, in comparison to what the partnership described as an “strong promotion-driven performance last year.” But in the second half of the year, ecommerce sales were up by 8.3%.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on