Screenshot 2020-11-30 at 14.34.34

Central England Co-op today (30 November) begins trialing a brand new service in one of its West Midlands stores that will allow customers to scan and go – all by using a specially created smartphone app.

Shoppers heading in to the retailer’s Spies Lane Food Store, in Halesowen, will be able to download the application as they enter, scan items as they pop them in their basket and pay digitally without ever needing to queue or stop at a checkout.

The trial is part of ongoing efforts by Central England Co-op to make the shopping experience easier, quicker and safer for people, something which is becoming more important during these uncertain times.

Jessica Head, Spies Lane store manager, said: “We want to strengthen communities through quality convenience. That isn’t just about shopping at a convenience store, it is about making the customer interaction easier and more relevant for them.

“Recent times have really showed us all the benefits of being able to shop local with a trusted, community focused retailer and this trial is another great extension of that way of thinking and how we, as a Society, are always trying to come up with more ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers and members.

“We are all really excited about the launch of the scan and go trial and look forward to showing customers how it works. We are delighted to be able to help make shopping as easy and convenient as possible for customers.”

The trial will run until early 2021 and, if successful, could see the app rolled out across more of the retailer’s 262 food sites across 16 counties.

The launch of the Scan and Go trial comes on the back of a similar pilot scheme that is already under way in the West Midlands.

The retailer has linked up with Snappy Shopper for the trial that allows shoppers to get their food and essential items delivered to their door in less than an hour thanks to the new eco-friendly service.

Shoppers choose items using the app from home which are then picked and packed at a nearby Central England Co-op store by local colleagues before being delivered to them via a special electronic vehicle.

For shoppers heading in to the Spies Lane store, they can download the app by using their phone to scan a special QR code as they enter the store and then just start shopping.

People can start ordering online from home now by downloading the Snappy Shopper app via the App Store or Google Play.

Ubamarket CEO Will Broome said: “We are delighted that Central England Co-op are committed in their approach to retail technology in this fast-evolving market.

“This past year has been incredibly difficult for the retail sector and the launch of the Central England Co-op – Scan, Pay, Go app demonstrates a clear focus on the evolution of customer experience, convenience and safety in a rapidly changing retail landscape.

“Leap-frogging tills and self-checkout units by effectively putting the till in the customers’ hands means that Central England Co-op shoppers will have the world’s most sophisticated retail app in the palm of their hands.”

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.