French supermarket chain Carrefour is experimenting with a system to reduce the waiting time at checkout queues.
Customers at their hypermarket in France at Villiers-en-Bière, Seine-et-Marne, can book a slot, while they are doing their shopping.
They scan a QR code displayed in the store which directs them to a web app. Customers are then asked to specify whether they have a basket or a trolley and choose one of six time slots available every hour to suit them. At the chosen time, the customer goes to the assigned checkout.
Carrefour told Connexion the system works at only one allocated checkout in the store as this is a trial to see whether it will make movement through checkouts more fluid and improve customer experience.
So far, they say they have had excellent customer feedback, but have not yet decided whether to expand the trial to other shops.
Other supermarkets have also been trying to find ways to make queueing shorter. There are self-scanning stations in many supermarkets.
Some Monoprix and LeroyMerlin stores use a system devised by company Lineberty which claims each of us spends six months of our lives standing in line at a checkout.
Once in the shop you take a digital ticket via a phone app and book a time at the checkout to suit. The app will then tell you when your slot is available and will warn you if there is a delay.