It’s time to reflect on another eventful week for the retail systems space. Here’s your briefing on the biggest stories from the past few days, including Morrisons going checkout free, Ocado, Farfetch and Checkout.com enjoying decacorn status, and Jeff Bezos rocketing in to space.
1. Morrisons Project Sarah taps AiFi tech for checkout free stores pilot
Morrisons is testing out a store with no checkouts or staff, known internally as Project Sarah, at its Bradford head office.
Britain’s fourth largest supermarket, which is currently at the centre of a takeover battle, is working with US venture AiFi on the initiative.
Customers (or Morrisons staff members in the case of this trial) download an app on to their smartphone which must be scanned on entry.
Digital cameras then track where people are in the store and record which items they place in their bags.
2. Farfetch, Ocado, Checkout.com join decacorn club as UK tech space thrives
The UK ranks third in the world, behind the US and China, for its number of tech businesses valued above $10 billion, according to research from Tech Nation.
The former has doubled its number of companies (aka decacorns) at this stage in six months alone, with seven companies reaching $10 billion valuations in 2021: Revolut, Wise, Arrival, eToro, Checkout.com, Farfetch, and Ocado.