Tesco goes with the Flow

Following successful trials, Tesco is rolling out the FlowControl traffic light entry system across 1,100 Express, Metro, Extra and superstores.

This move will help Tesco comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and ensure customers and staff feel safe during the pandemic.

The system informs customers when it is safe to enter or when they need to wait because the store has reached its pre-set maximum safe capacity. When the store has reached capacity, the doors automatically deactivate and only re-open once someone leaves the store.

To further help customers, especially those with specific needs as sight impairments, FlowControl systems at larger stores will play pre-recorded messages to advise whether it is safe to enter the store or not.

All stores will also have a staff alert system fitted at the customer service desk to notify staff when a store is nearing or has reached capacity. Staff will also be able to monitor the actual number of people in the store at any time on the FlowControl display.

Separately, Tesco launched a trial of drone home deliveries this week, with shoppers in County Galway, Ireland.

The supermarket’s group innovation team are offering on-demand small basket deliveries from its Oranmore shop, using drone technology from Manna over the next few months.

Customers can order deliveries through the FlipDish app, with up to 700 products available. After receiving the order, in-store employees pack the shopping, which is then transferred to a Manna drone supervisor for delivery, with deliveries flown to their destination within 30 minutes to one hour from ordering.

The trial is part of the Tesco Red Door initiative, fostering innovation across the business. In September, the supermarket said it was looking to work with innovators to help in areas beyond day-to-day operations, focusing on ideas that can create competitive advantage.

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