Tesco's first ever autonomous store

Product used
Live from
November, 2020
Heart Building Falcon Way,
Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1TW, UK
Store type
Supported product lines
Frozen foods
Fresh produce
Refrigerated items
Meal deal
Store size
3,000 square feet
We’re delighted to be working with Trigo…Together, we have made great progress testing the frictionless checkout solution in our trial store in Welwyn Garden City and we are excited by this technology and the opportunities it brings.
Guus Dekkers, Chief Technology Officer at Tesco
$84 billion

Annual revenue







Heart of innovation

Since its inception, Tesco has been known as one of the global leaders in innovation in grocery retail. It was at the helm in 1985 when it introduced the first health-focused food line in the UK and again in 1996 when it was the first retailer to offer online shopping, way ahead of any of its competitors. Today Tesco’s global headquarters are based in Welwyn Garden City – one of the several cities built around London as a part of the famous 20th-century garden city movement urban planning project. 

At the center of the campus lies the Heart building, which serves as an innovation hub and a focal point for employees around the Tesco campus. The state-of-the-art building is home to many events and learning spaces like the Tesco Academy. It also boasts open and communal areas for employees to network, spark creativity, and test the newest technologies shaping the future of retail.

Pioneers in frictionless checkout

In 2018 Tesco learned that Trigo was developing a frictionless checkout solution and sent its representatives to meet with Trigo because this is precisely what they were looking for – to be pioneers in adopting the next innovation in the future of retail. Following extensive research of the major players in frictionless checkout, Tesco decided that Trigo was the best partner with the most robust solution for frictionless checkout tech.

The Heart building’s on-site Tesco Express is an ideal testing ground for the company’s various innovation initiatives that aim to provide the best possible shopping experience for its customers and was therefore aptly chosen as the location for the first-ever real store deployment of Trigo’s technology in the world. The trial began small and utilized the hybrid model to best enable rigorous testing by computer vision and operations experts as well as significant on-site user testing by simulated and real visitors to the store. Trigo and Tesco’s commitment to achieving superior results helped drive the technology’s rapid development and the frictionless checkout solution was eventually fitted into the entire store.

Deploying Trigo’s technology in the entire Tesco ‘Heart’ store was the first true milestone for Trigo and served as a proof of concept for the technology in additional stores. Tesco’s deep commitment to leading the category in innovation has made them true partners in cementing both Trigo’s and autonomous store technology’s place in the future of retail.

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