Tesco is using the launch of its latest large store model to roll out a hi-tech new checkout that automatically scans products on the conveyor and will see some checkout staff take up new customer service roles.

Checkout staff would be redeployed to help customers unload trolley contents on to conveyors on four state-of-the-art machines at its 80,000 sq ft new Lincoln Extra store, it said.

The machines handle the equivalent transactions of nearly a third of the store’s tills as they send products via conveyor belt to one of three packing areas, which enables up to three customers to pack and pay on each machine at one time.

Tesco said it had already received positive customer feedback from a trial in Fareham, Hampshire, and that the new Lincoln store represented a ramping up of the technology, developed by NCR.

It uses imaging technology from Datalogic that automatically finds the barcode on a product and can scan up to 60 items per minute.

“Customers can feel pressurised when they have customers behind them at the checkouts,” said a Tesco spokesman. “This is about making it a more relaxed experience.”

Supermarkets had to differentiate themselves, added Ronen Levkovich, EMEA vice president for NCR Retail: “Incorporating innovative software and hardware is becoming increasingly important.”

Asda has also trialled a Rapid Scan checkout, which can scan up to 100 items per minute, at its York store.