Home Bargains stores to install motion sensor traffic light system

A traffic light queuing system will be introduced across all 550 Home Bargains stores in the UK in a bid to control customer numbers and adhere to social distancing restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

TJ Morris, the owner of the discount retail chain, has partnered with Hitachi Europe Ltd. to install the motion sensor technology by store entrance and exits. The Hitachi 3D LiDAR (TOF) Motion Sensor is able to simultaneously count people entering and exiting, with the number in-store communicated in real time to the traffic light signal. This in turn informs customers outside when it is safe or not to enter based on each store’s capacity limit by turning either red or green.

In addition to measuring in-store footfall, the TOF sensor can track customers’ journeys around a store by directly detecting human shape and moving, providing insights such as where they stopped and who they passed by. TJ Morris said this will help provide them with valuable information on consumer behaviour in a non-intrusive way.

Joe Morris, director of innovation at TJ Morris commented: “Over the past few months, retail environments have changed, and we’ve had to quickly adapt to new ways of operating. New, innovative technologies have played a significant part in us still being able to provide a safe and pleasant shopping experience for our customers.

“By collaborating directly with manufacturers, like Hitachi, we’re able to actively contribute and share our knowledge to ultimately provide a better, tailored solution for our stores. The capabilities and applications of Hitachi’s 3D LiDAR sensor are transformative for the retail industry and we believe it will offer us both great value and future opportunities.”

A number of retailers including Aldi and Tesco have introduced similar queuing systems over recent months to improve the safety of customers and staff in-stores.

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