Tesco to manage customer numbers with 3D imaging system

But company will still use staff to monitor busier times, priority shopping hours

Tesco Ireland has launched a customer counter and queue management system nationwide.  Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Tesco Ireland has launched a customer counter and queue management system nationwide. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

 

Tesco has introduced a new system to its stores to help manage customer numbers, with a technology-based number and queue management system.

The monitor-based 3D imaging system will help the company control crowds in its stores by counting customers entering and exiting, tracking how many people are inside and indicating to customers waiting when it is safe to enter.

When the store has reached its capacity, a red sign tells customers to wait, until someone leaves, when the screen will turn green to permit entry.

The system will be implemented at most Tesco stores, starting with the company’s 60 largest superstore and Tesco Extra outlets in the coming weeks. It can be tailored for different store sizes and formats, which affects the number of customers allowed inside at the same time, and a version for the Tesco Express stores is currently being considered.

However, at busier times, or priority shopping hours for the elderly and family carers, the doors will still be manned by staff.

Safe shopping

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

The monitor-based system was trailed in the company’s Greystones store in Co Wicklow, before the decision was made to implement it throughout Ireland.

Store manager David Murphy said customers responded well to the trial. “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,” he said.