Supermarket retailer Spar to deploy automated checkout system

High street supermarket chain Spar is to trial automated self-service retail systems in Northern Ireland ahead of a possible nationwide roll-out.

The grocery chain, which has over 2,700 stores of varying size in the UK carries out 12 million transactions each week. The trial, using stores in Northern Ireland will use automated checkout and retail management systems from Wincor Nixdorf.

It is hoped that self-service automated checkout systems, which are already being used in limited quantities by other supermarkets including Tesco and Marks & Spencer, will allow the company to cut queuing and transaction processing times, as well as improve customer service.

"When developing IT solutions for independent retailers, it is key that any supplier you choose understands the need to prove new technologies in a live environment - enabling you to demonstrate to retailers not only that the product works, but that it will bring real business benefits to their stores" said Roy Ford, IT Controller at Spar.

If successful, the trial will also enable the chain to expand the number of available checkout positions within a store or petrol station without having to increase staffing numbers.

"Spar knows that self-service technology will play a key part in the future of the food retail business. SPAR has given Wincor Nixdorf the chance to show how self checkout solutions can deliver real benefits in terms of customer service and staff management" added Lotta Elmfeldt, Wincor Nixdorf's solution manager for self service solutions.