WEST MIDLANDS Co-op is investing £ 1 million in state of the art cash tills for its 34 supermarkets and convenience stores.
Customers will benefit from quicker transactions, shorter queues and improved customer service.
One highlight will be for the supermarkets to have eye level ?monitors' that provide clearer details of purchases, and the colour screen can also be split to carry in-store promotions and community messages.
Selected food stores will also have the option of the latest technology allowing self-scanning of purchases by customers.
West Midlands' Chief Executive Ben Reid said: `This is state of the art technology that will bring real benefits for customers and underline our position as one of the most progressive Co-ops in the country.`
The society has 15 supermarkets and 19 convenience stores. The new quieter cash tills, from IT giant Fujitsu – formerly known as ICL – will be phased in over 11 months starting next month.
It will also give staff more time to deal with customer inquiries, as the new system will cut time looking at electronic records from an average of three hours a week to just ten minutes.
More accurate up to the minute stock re-ordering will increase product availability.
The system's radio network means more tills can easily be added during peak seasons, such as Christmas and Easter.
It is also primed for future developments such as the possible introduction of the euro, and for 1 January 2005, when shoppers paying by credit card will have to use a PIN number to make the transaction.
Said Mr Reid: `It all makes for a more pleasant shopping experience, with the focus even more on our customers. Staff will also find it easy to use.`
The first of the new tills will be installed at the society's new supermarket at Bicton Heath, near Shrewsbury, which is due to open next month.
It will also be the first to give customers the option of scanning their own shopping.