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Coronavirus: Sainsbury's trials virtual queueing system

·2-min read
A Sainsbury's store in London. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images
A Sainsbury's store in London. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) is taking queuing digital, testing a new virtual system in five of its stores across the UK.

The trial will be conducted for Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf stores, via uFirst app.

It will test whether the tech will help customers stay safe during coronavirus and save time on grocery runs.

It comes as queues have reached a critical point during coronavirus lockdowns, with supermarkets attempting to enforce social distancing in the aisles. Queues outside grocery stores have continued to make headlines.

With this system, those in line to shop can wait elsewhere — monitoring their position in the queue from their car, another shop or from home. They will be notified when they get to the front.

“We will be listening closely to feedback from our customers and colleagues,” said Nigel Blunt, director of eCommerce at Sainsbury’s

“We’re also rolling out SmartShop Mobile Pay to even more convenience stores, offering customers fast and contactless shopping that will help them get in and out of the store even quicker.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: UK economy won't fully recover until 2024

SmartShop Mobile Pay to more of its convenience stores. This offers till-free and contactless shopping.

Customers can use their smartphones to scan their shopping, pack it and track what they are spending as they go, then pay for it.

The app is now live in more than 75 Sainsbury’s Locals and the retailer is continuing to rapidly rollout the technology to more convenience stores – 40 more will follow this week.

The digital queueing trial will run until mid-August, testing how customers respond to such a solution. Customers without smartphones won’t be at a disadvantage, as they can ask shop assistants to add them to the queue in person, the supermarket said.