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Tesco outdoor store

Tesco create new hybrid checkouts making shopping accessible for all

Over the last few years there have been big changes in the way that customers pay for their shopping at supermarkets, with stores moving towards more self-service tills. Whilst some like the new system, others prefer the staffed tills and argue that the self-service tills are not accessible for all shoppers. Older customers and those with disabilities are less likely to use self-service checkouts.

With customer service being their utmost priority, Tesco reached out to Contacta for assistance in installing hybrid checkouts in their stores, which are a combination of both a self-service and a staffed checkout. The display screen in the middle can be rotated 180 degrees so it can be used in a self-service position or turned so that a member of staff can work the checkout, assisting shoppers in scanning and paying for their items.

With the new checkouts servicing customers in two ways, Contacta had to redesign and install the one to one hearing loop to cover both the audio being emitted from the till itself and the communication that takes place between staff and customers, ensuring sound quality is not compromised when the system is turned.

Due to the tills being a completely new concept, it was a lengthy process to get the specification of the systems signed off, with Contacta’s Head of UK Sales Shelley Rolfe and Technical Sales Manager Dean Corrigan involved from the start of the project.

In late 2022 a trial installation was completed at the Hemel Hempstead store and then a further 3 installs once the specification had been agreed. Currently 25 stores have the new hybrid tills, with another 80 expected to be completed this year.

Together with Contacta, Tesco aim to install the systems in approximately 400+ large stores in 2024, with the roll out expected to continue over the next couple of years.

Contacta work closely with customers starting with the specification and design of products, right through to installation and ongoing support.

When asked about the progress of the project, Contacta’s Shelly Rolfe commented that “Tesco are very happy with the time and effort that went into specifying the unit and how quickly we were able to action the trials”.

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