Morrisons is set to cut queues at tills in 300 of its stores by implementing infrared systems to detect customer movement.
The supermarket chain will implement the Irisys systems over the next six months, and it said the move will also help it improve its deployment of staff within stores.
Morrisons is currently in the middle of an Optimisation Plan, which will end next year. It includes a complete refresh of its IT infrastructure, costing £110 million and based around Oracle systems, to help bring about better reporting and decision making.
It chose to implement the technology after a trial at five of its stores, in which queues were cut “significantly”. Irisys infra red technology is already in use at rival supermarket chain Tesco.
The Irisys technology uses infrared detectors on the ceiling that provide real time queue information and displays this on a dashboard. It also calculates and displays how many checkouts will be needed in 15 minutes’ time to meet customer demand, so that managers can open and close checkouts.
Morrisons will deploy checkout staff using the Irisys till scheduler tool, basing decisions on historical customer and sales data, as well as information collected by the infrared sensors. It said store managers would be able to anticipate busy or periods over four weeks in advance and ensure staff are available.
Sylvia Jones, head of retail operations at the supermarket, said: “Ensuring our customers receive the best possible service at the checkouts is one of the most important elements of the shopping experience, but also one of the biggest challenges.”