Somerfield is piloting a mobile scanning system from Datalogic Scanning with a view to rolling it out at its convenience-led stores.

The Pre-Scan system is designed to cut checkout queues by allowing staff to scan and bag customers’ shopping before they get to the front of the queue. The scanned data is then uploaded to the fixed scanner at the till and processed through the EPoS system as normal.

Somerfield retail services manager Nick Crane said that the system is being investigated for its convenience stores, which experience huge spikes in footfall and where space is at a premium.

The system is being tested in one Brighton store at its traditional tills. However, development work is under way so that the mobile scanner can capture multiple customers’ shopping and transfer the data to the appropriate fixed scanner as a till becomes available. The store wants to use this version of the system at its bank of eight smaller checkouts, which has a single queue of customers.

Crane added that the Datalogic system is one of several that the retailer is looking at, but it is winning favour because no EPoS system changes are required to roll it out and there are no PCIDSS implications. In addition, this system keeps all checkout activity, such as bagging, in one area of the store.

He said that, once the multiple basket version of the system has been proven to work, it could be taken to Somerfield’s new-concept and refitted stores quickly.

At the end of March, the grocer committed to opening 250 stores in the next three years.