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Tesco introduces self-service store

There are concerns about the future of many workers in the retail industry after supermarket giant Tesco opened its first wholly self-service store in Kingsley, Northampton. While the group has defended the move and claimed it has created enormous job opportunities in the past, and will do so in the future, the unions have already presented representation regarding their concerns.

The new Tesco Express in Kingsley allows customers to scan bar codes and items, pay for their items using cash and cards although it has to be said that a member of staff will always be on hand if there are issues. While there are some concerns regarding the ability of some consumers to use the self-service system it would appear that Tesco is looking to reduce its cost base as much as possible while attempting to maintain high levels of customer service.

It seems unlikely that Tesco will introduce an enormous number of self-service stores in the short to medium term but as technology improves and consumers demand quicker and quicker checkouts we may see the introduction of more or self-service stores, not only by Tesco but potentially across the whole retail market. However, companies moving down this route will need to be very careful that they do in fact maintain customer service levels and are not just slashing costs indiscriminately.

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