The Co-op supermarket chain is about to put an awfully large amount of trust into the hands of its customers, as it's testing a self-scanning smartphone shopping system that could be launched across the country this year.
At first, shoppers in a few tech-aware hotspots will be allowed to bypass the tills by scanning in their own goods via a Co-op app produced in partnership with Mastercard, with the first trial taking place within the Co-op's own in-house branch at its support centre in Manchester. The on-site Co-op at Microsoft's UK HQ in Reading will be next, and if this doesn't lead to wholesale white-collar theft, a wider launch could happen this summer, letting everyone scan their own stuff, stuff it in a rucksack, feel oddly guilty, and walk out.
Co-op's retail director Matthew Speight said: "We recognise there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat -- it is all part of the service. Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience." [Co-op via Guardian]