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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 05:35 GMT 06:35 UK
Shop rings changes with DIY tills
A supermarket in Cheltenham has scrapped all its checkout lanes and introduced do-it-yourself tills.

Customers at the Co-op store in Montpellier Street must now scan, pack and pay for their shopping without the help of checkout staff.

A spokesman for store operator Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-op said the scheme aimed to save customers time.

"It (the shop) is in a busy commuter area. It's very much a culture of 'pick up and go'", he said.

A number of supermarket chains have introduced some DIY checkouts as a way of reducing queues.

No staff cuts

Customers pass the barcode on items over a scanner at the till and place them in a carrier bag.

When finished, shoppers process the payment themselves by inserting either cash, debit or credit card into the computer.

The new-look Montpellier Street branch, due to open on Tuesday, will have four self-serve tills.

The tills have a supervisor on hand to assist shoppers if needed.

To stop theft, the machines weigh shoppers' baskets when they arrive at the checkout.

If the goods scanned do not correspond with their estimated total weight, the supervisor is alerted.

Despite doing away with checkout operators, the spokesman said staff numbers would remain the same, with employees used elsewhere in the store.

"We have the same number of staff," he said.

"We are not thinking about cost savings at all."

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