Penny opens first scanless store in Romania with Trigo

Rewe Group opens the first Pick&Go store of its discount operation Penny in Romania. The Penny outlet on Boulevard Iuliu Maniu in Bucharest is open around the clock. Since 29 May, customers have been able to pack their goods directly into their shopping bags without having to scan them. Technology from Israeli specialist Trigo registers purchases in the 350 square metre store with a range of 2,400 items.

As in the Rewe outlet at Wehrhahn in Düsseldorf, customers do not have to register when entering the store. Retail Optimiser reported. A total of 500 cameras and 5,000 sensors registers purchases. Using artificial intelligence, the software recognises all items customers select and adds them to a virtual shopping basket. Trigo’s Vision Recognition technology analyses the behaviour of every store visitor. However, the retail company emphasises that the solution is not using facial recognition and does not collect personal data.


When buying fruit and vegetables, shoppers use a self-service scale. Penny has not yet implemented the technology provider’s new solution, which automatically determines the weight when the goods are removed. Once the purchase is complete, customers pay cashless at a self-service terminal. After scanning the barcode on the receipt, a barrier opens at the exit of the store.

Fruit and vegetables still must be weighed. (Photo: Rewe Group)

Some problems are still unresolved

The fact that Rewe Group now also operates scanless store in its Penny discount line emphasises the persistence with which the company is testing the technology. Another autonomous store is due to open in Hungary soon. However, the technology still poses many unresolved challenges. The software does not always fully recognise which goods customers have actually taken and not put back. Due to the large amount of data to be processed by the many cameras and sensors, applications are not yet able to create shopping baskets in real time. This is why often a human at a monitor has to decide in cases of doubt.

Research by the Retail Optimiser has confirmed that, regardless of technology provider, humans must check numerous transactions. Not all receipts created by the applications are always correct. Retail companies therefore respond to customer complaints with the greatest possible goodwill. At Penny in Bucharest, there are employees on site who can help customers. It remains to be seen if and when the technology will be ready to work fully autonomously.

The video in Romanian language shows how the Pick&Go store works. (Video: Rewe Group)

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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