Covid-19: Tesco introduces 3D imaging to manage customer numbers in stores

Tesco is introducing a 3D imaging system across it stores in Ireland to help it manage customer numbers and queuing, following a successful trial of the technology at its Greystones store. The monitor-based system will help ensure there is an accurate steady flow of people in stores throughout the day by counting the number of people entering and leaving.

The technology will first be rolled out across Tesco’s 60 largest Superstore and Extra outlets in Ireland in the coming weeks, before a tailored version is brought in for its Express stores later on.

Using 3D imaging to track those coming in and out, the system indicates the number of people in a store at any one time. When maximum capacity is reached, a red stop sign will show on a screen to inform customers they have to wait, while green directional arrows display when it is safe to enter.

During particularly busy times or at set hours dedicated to the elderly and carers, the supermarket said that entrances and exits of stores will continue to be manned.  

Geoff Byrne, chief operating officer, Tesco Ireland, commented: “We’ve worked hard to maintain a safe shopping environment for colleagues and customers to date. This new technology is a simple, accurate way of reducing queue times and allows our colleagues spend more time helping customers. We continue to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to prioritise their safety when shopping with us.” 

The move is part of efforts by supermarkets to ensure staff and customers stay safe whilst shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is increasingly involving the use of technology to ensure compliance with social distancing guidance. Earlier this week, Aldi announced it is introducing traffic light technology across its UK stores to signal to customers when it is safe to enter.