Name plus 'Here to help' is no longer sufficient information for name tags apparently - Tesco wants its customers to be reassured that the Saturday boy directing them to the baked beans spends his free time in pool halls or buried in a book.

It could be because the retailer has in the past been accused of being too impersonal. Or maybe because Asda is currently scooping all the customer service awards. But soon staff will sport name badges that give details of the year they started work at Tesco, carry a picture that represents their main interests or hobbies, and disclose any other interesting work-related facts.

It's all about improving the quality of relationships between its staff and customers, says Tesco.

Staff can choose from one of 50 images to appear on their badge, from footballs and books to watermelons (Mmm. I wonder what message the last image is trying to convey) but I doubt whether images of a pint of lager, a box of tabs or a bed, the place I spent most of my free time when I worked in a supermarket, appear on the list.

I'm not sure how Tesco thinks this is going to help relationships between customers and staff, but it is unlikely to spark up any more riveting conversations than this: "So Wayne, I see you like football. Now, please can you tell me where the baked beans are."