Tesco Ireland introduces new tech to help manage queues

Tesco Ireland is launching a customer counter and queue management system nationwide following a successful trial at its Greystones store

Roll out to commence across Irish store portfolio in the coming weeks

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27 May 2020 | 0

Tesco Ireland today announced plans for a technology-based customer number and queue management system to be rolled out across its stores nationwide as it continues to respond to Covid-19.

Following a successful trial at its Greystones store, the company will now introduce the monitor-based 3D imaging system which will count customer numbers entering and exiting stores, to ensure an accurate steady flow of people throughout the day. The new screen technology will roll out across the majority of stores starting with its 60 largest Superstore and Extra outlets in the coming weeks, with a tailored version for its Express stores in due course.

As Tesco works to comply with social distancing measures, store size and format dictate the maximum numbers of customers permitted to enter a store at any one time. This technology indicates the number of people in store at any one time, highlighting for customers when it is safe to enter with directional arrows permitting entry, or a stop sign to advise them to wait.

“We’ve worked hard to maintain a safe shopping environment for colleagues and customers to date,” said Geoff Byrne, chief operating officer, Tesco Ireland. “This new technology is a simple, accurate way of reducing queue times and allows our colleagues spend more time helping customers. We continue to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to prioritise their safety when shopping with us.”

David Murphy, store manager at Tesco Greystones, said customers had responded well to the trial, with “great feedback” so far.

“It gives both my team great peace of mind for managing the numbers in-store at any given time, and for customers to know they’re entering a safe environment as well,” Murphy said. “With social distancing and the management of the flow of people likely to be with us for the near future, this technology is very important.”

When the number of people in store reaches its set capacity, a visual red sign informs the customer to wait until someone leaves and the screen turns green to permit customer entry. At these busier times, or at set hours dedicated to the elderly and family carers, the personal manning of store entry and exit points will continue.

The technology involved is provided by Wanzl, based in Co. Kildare. It is based on a 3D body imaging system, capturing shapes and numbers only, and does not capture pictures.

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