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Tesco has opened a new superstore in the UK that devotes nine of 27 checkouts to self-checkout technology, the biggest commitment that Britain's number one grocer has made to self-checkout.

The decision comes after Tesco tested 20 self-checkout lanes in a total of five stores during the past year. The company reportedly also has committed to another 77 checkouts in a total of 16 stores.

Retail Week reports that Tesco continues to describe its self-checkout moves as a pilot program. “We are looking at how far we can push the boundaries of self-checkout,” Tesco Service Choice project manager Stine Hope told the magazine. “We are asking ourselves how many self-checkouts we can actually put in.”

He also said that self-checkout will not cost people's jobs. “The people that would be manning the tills will be used to give better service to customers. In any case, we’ll still need attendants to oversee the self-checkout tills. We see it as an opportunity to improve our service to customers.”
KC's View:
Words like those last ones make our heart go pitter pat. It’s nice to hear a retailer come out and say what every retailer ought to be saying - that self-checkout is an opportunity for greater customer service and redeployment of people, not a chance to save money and cut out the human connection.