Waitrose is giving shop staff tablets in a bid to improve customer service.

The move is at trial stage and exactly how the tablets will be used is still being determined, but Waitrose said the idea was to free up support managers so they could spend more time on the shop floor.

“Managers in branches are exploring the use of mobile devices to support them on the shop floor and provide excellent service to customers by freeing them up from having to use a desktop computer,” said a Waitrose spokesman.

Waitrose is not the first food retailer to give tablets to staff. Morrisons handed out tablets last year to replace its paper and pen ordering system as part of a £310m overhaul of its IT. M&S also started giving staff tablets in 2012 so they could show customers full product ranges and help them place orders online.

Waitrose already uses tablets for customers at the new ‘welcome desks’ at the front of its stores.