Retail Solutions - Fast-track scan solution on trial at Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's is piloting several queue-busting techniques at its high-tech flagship store at Hazel Grove in Manchester.

As well as introducing self- service checkout tills, the retailer has also equipped Hazel Grove staff with mobile Fast Track handsets, which are already in use in the store for self-scanning.

Customers are approached as they are queuing to pay for shopping, where a staff member scans all of the items in the shopper's basket or trolley using a Symbol scanner.

Staff then save the information by scanning the customer's Nectar card.

Once shoppers reach the checkout, they simply present their Nectar card to the cashier and pay for their shopping.

According to the retailer, this is the first time that the fast-track scanning technique has been tested in a supermarket, although WHSmith is also trialling it.

Queue-busting has become a high priority for retailers. Recent research, from industry analysts such as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, suggests that shoppers are likely to dump their basket and leave if they are forced to queue for a long time.