Continente Labs is the first supermarket in Portugal where there is no product register, checkouts or queues: you just walk in, pick up the products and walk out.
It sounds like a very complex idea that came out of a movie, but the truth is that it’s a very simple process: walk into the store, pick up the products you need and, instead of waiting in line to make your payment at the checkout, just walk out.
This new supermarket concept still only has one store in Saldanha, Lisbon.
Continente is the first European brand to open a supermarket where you don’t have to register the products that you’re taking home with you at the checkout counter, nor receive paper invoices. How does it work? We explain!
In this supermarket, there are no cash registers, paper invoices, notes and coins, because the whole process is done through an app. To enter, you just need to download the Continente Labs app on your mobile phone – the app is free and available for Android and iOS. The store also offers free Wi-Fi so that, if you haven’t installed the app yet, you can do so conveniently.
To continue this innovative and technological experience, simply open the app and enter your phone number. This will allow the system to understand if your data is already associated with Continente’s loyalty card. If they are, simply activate the electronic invoice option and the Continente Pay service (so that you can associate a bank card with which you can make all your payments).
Once your registration is complete, you’ll have access to a Qr code to enter the store. From then on, you won’t need your mobile phone again: through the hundreds of sensors present in the store, it is able to detect all the products you take off the shelf.
When you pick up a product, that same item is added to your virtual shopping cart. If you change your mind and no longer want to take it, simply put it back on the shelf and it will be deleted from your shopping cart. The only thing you shouldn’t do is pass on the items you initially took to someone else, as these are always counted in the cart of the person who took them off the shelf in the first place.
At the end of your shopping, you don’t have to stand in line: just leave and, moments later, you will receive the electronic invoice on your mobile phone with a description of all the products you have just bought.
We might think that, with so much technology and so many sensors, the products available for sale would be few, but that’s not the case. Continente Labs has about a thousand products on sale, and in this initial phase, fruit and vegetables are packaged and sold in sets to facilitate the reading of the sensors and the definition of prices.
Although there are no cash registers or physical payments, the store, like any other, needs employees who, in this case, handle the restocking of products and also customer support.
There are no plastic shopping bags, so if you want to carry more products than your hands can handle, it’s best that you take your reusable bags from home. The goal of this innovative supermarket is, through artificial intelligence, to be able to provide a convenient, easy and fast shopping experience for customers.
As the name suggests, this store functions as a test/laboratory store for the Sonae Group, since it is the first supermarket with this type of operation in the country.
The shop, located right in front of Jardim do Arco do Cego, is open between 8am and 9pm. Are you curious? The best thing is to install the app and go shopping in the supermarket of the future!