Sainsbury's has claimed a new multimillion pound stock system will reduce waste and help it deal with unpredictable weather.

The technology will capture real-time sales data at the checkout that will be used to update a store's next delivery.

"This new system allows us to react to any changes in buying pattern on the same day rather than overnight, meaning we can make far better decisions on where to send stock," said Sainsbury's supply chain director Tim Goalen.

"We will know exactly what is selling well at any given moment so we can react more quickly than any of our competitors."

Sainsbury's claimed the technology will minimise problems associated with unpredictable British summers and reduce waste by 15% during periods of unexpected weather resulting in a 1,400 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions per year.

"Shelves might be full of barbecue food for the weekend, only for unexpected rain to cause everyone to clamour for warm, hearty food instead," said Goalen. "This new way of working will greatly reduce this risk."

Sainsbury's will test the system later this year, with a national rollout planned for February 2011.