Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op is using technology in an attempt to drive customer service to new levels.
It is launching self-service checkout lanes and plasma ad screens built into the shopfloor ­ a first for a UK supermarket.
The society ­ the fourth largest with 85 food retail stores ­ is also developing a fourth format for forecourts after acquiring its first petrol station in Chinnor, Oxfordshire.
Food division controller Bill Laird is aiming to trial the self-service checkouts, which enable customers to scan, bag and pay for their goods without assistance, before Christmas.
He said the technology would free up staff and improve customer service.
"Unemployment in Oxford is so low that retailers are always struggling to get enough staff," he added. "Self-checkout lanes don't take holidays and they don't go off sick. We can have one member of staff to supervise four tills."
The plasma screens, from technology firm Flasma, give suppliers opportunities to send video streamed ads to run as customers are shopping at a category, said Laird. The 42-inch screens can flag up new offers and news and sports information.
Details are still being finalised. The first screens will probably be introduced in the Carterton store before Christmas.

{{NEWS }}