Grocery giant Tesco has opened the UK’s first completely self-service shop – an Express convenience store in Kingsley, Northampton.
There are no staffed checkouts in the shop, which has five self-service tills watched over by one employee.
The retailer told the Daily Mail that the store was a way of increasing efficiency and speeding up shopping trips.
However critics warned that the innovation might ultimately result in job losses and marked the end of interaction between shoppers and check-out workers.
A Tesco spokesman said: “Customers like the fact that there are five checkouts available. Before, you could have four manned checkouts but only one person working the till. We have had no negative feedback so far.”
An Asda spokesman said it would not follow Tesco’s lead. He maintained: “Hell would probably freeze over before we had a store with no customer interaction on the checkouts.
“You get to have a bit of a chat with some human interaction and that’s very important for a lot of people.”