Marks & Spencer is equipping staff in all full-line stores with iPads to help them sell wine and clothing.

The iPads will give sales staff background information on products, and allow them to take orders for out of stock items. Staff in clothing areas will be able to use their iPads to show customers full product ranges and place orders, saving them from having to queue up at a till.

Similarly, in the wine section, the iPad will allow staff to order out-of -stock products and allow them to provide detailed information about the provenance and qualities of different wines.

“This is all grounded in the belief that putting greater knowledge into the hands of colleagues helps them serve the customers better,” said an M&S spokesman. “Making ordering easier is also valuable.”

M&S has already begun using iPads in 36 UK stores and in its Paris store. Over the next year it wants to bring them to all 350 of its UK stores that sell general merchandise and food.

The retailer has also introduced ‘browse and order’ touch-screen points where customers can look up product information, check availability and place orders.