Retail Solutions - Co-op first with Oxford self-scan

Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op Society has extended the roll out of its self-scanning checkouts to an Oxford convenience store, a move the company says is a first in Europe.

The Co-op already has four supermarkets with self-scanning checkouts and intends to equip up to 10 more by the end of next year.

The strategy to install self-checkouts in c-stores is driven by customer behaviour and recruitment problems.

The store in Walton St, Oxford, has the highest density of sales per square foot of any Co-op store in the UK. It is situated in a student area of the town and many of its sales are of small transaction values, which suits self-checking out.

'The store is in the heart of student land and it's a busy, impulse-buy kind of shop,' said Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op general manager retail Bill Laird. 'The self-checkout reduces queues in a limited space and takes the pressure off staff.'

Oxford, like other towns in the South, is enjoying near-full employment, and the Co-op has never been able to staff some of its stores fully in the area.

Laird says that the company has a further five convenience stores where self-checking out would be appropriate.

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