Covid-19: Sainsbury's checkout changes continue with new safety screens

UK grocer Sainsbury’s is set to install new safety screens between checkouts as it looks to speed up consumers’ shopping time during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The new screens are intended to heighten customer and employee safety at the point of sale, and they will be introduced to 150 of the retailer’s busiest supermarkets across the UK. The safety screens will be installed between manned checkouts, with the aim of creating a clear barrier between queues.

Sainsbury’s said the move will enable it to reopen checkouts that have been kept closed to enable shoppers to maintain the appropriate distance from each other, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. It should also enable Sainsbury’s to reduce the queues outside its stores, which have been forming in recent weeks due to restrictions on numbers entering the premises at any one time.

Over recent weeks, Sainsbury’s – like the other grocery chains in the UK – have installed perplex screens at manned checkouts, kiosks and service desks to reduce physical person-to-person interactions. The appearance of social distancing floor markings and signage, as well as additional cleaning routines, have all been key parts of the grocers’ efforts in protecting staff and customers.

Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations, commented: “Customer and colleague safety is our highest priority and we want to support our customers to pay for their shopping as quickly as possible by reducing queues.

“These protective screens will make it easier to shop in store, so thank you to our colleagues and partners who have worked so hard to get them up and running.”

Sainsbury’s trialled the new screens in its London Whitechapel store for just over a week. The supermarket chain is also commencing a trial into introducing these safety screens at self-service checkouts, with the same ambition to save customers time and keep them safe.