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Sainsburys Trials New Virtual Queuing System App


Sainsburys have announced they are trialling a new virtual queuing system in their stores. The new queueing system will allow customers to to wait their turn to enter stores from their car, home or nearby cafe.

The new system will be on a app called ufirst, it will be piloted at stores from Monday 27th July, 2020. It will allow customers to join the line to shop in stores, eliminating the need to stand in a socially distanced queue outside the store.

The first stores to run via the app ufirst will be: Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome roundabout in Watford, Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf. It will run until mid-August, 2020, then Sainsburys will test whether the technology will help its customers stay safe, save time and shop easily in stores. Once the trial has started Sainsburys will be listening closely to feedback from their customers and colleagues. The initiative is just one of the ways Sainsburys is innovating and investing in digital in response to the current pandemic and changing customers habits.

Customers can now download the app ufirst on their smartphone and they will be able to monitor their position in the queue and will be notified when they reach the front of the queue.

Sainsburys said for people who are unable or do not wish to download the app, customers can be added to the virtual queue by asking staff to place them in the virtual queuing system then they will be notified by a text message when they are close to the front of the queue.

Sainsbury’s is also rolling out SmartShop Mobile Pay to more of its convenience stores, offering till-free and contactless shopping. Customers can use their smartphones to scan their shopping, pack it and track what they are spending as they go, then pay for it through the app, without needing to go to a physical till. The app is now live in over 75 Sainsburys Locals and the retailer is continuing to rapidly rollout the technology to its convenience stores.

Nigel Blunt, Director of eCommerce at Sainsburys said: “We’re always on the lookout for how we can make our customers lives easier using technology. We’re trialling a virtual queuing system which enables shoppers to hold their place in the queue using their smartphone and we will listening closely to feedback from our customers and colleagues. We’re also rolling out SmartShop Mobile Pay to even more convenience stores, offering customers fast and contactless shopping that will get them in and out of the store even quicker”.

John Lewis is also set to launch a similar scheme in three of its department stores and at six Waitrose supermarkets in August.