Home Bargains to launch new coronavirus traffic light queuing system at store entrances just like Aldi

HOME Bargains is introducing a new traffic light system to control the number of customers in branches – but it can also track people as they shop.

The discounter hopes to use the prompters so customers can socially distance inside stores, similar to the system Aldi installed earlier this year.

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The lights will be sensor controlled and placed at the entrance and exit points to monitor how many people are in the shop.

But the technology will also be able to track the customer's journey around the store, monitoring where they stop and what products they are drawn to.

Home Bargains can then use this information to influence where they put item, such as at the end of the aisles, to get you buy more items.

Unlike CCTV though, the sensors detect body shape and not your actual details so you can't be identified from the data.

Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop

SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards

They're not the only store to do this – retailers have been coming up with ways to monitor customers' shopping behaviours over the past five years.

The number of shoppers allowed in a store at the same time has been capped due to the government's "Covid-19 secure" guidelines, but the limit varies depending on the size of the building.

At busier times, many retailers have stationed a member of staff near the entrance to control the number of customers going in – but this system will be replaced by the automatic lights.

Simply put, when the light is red customers will have to wait outside the shop until it switches to green, signalling that it is safe for the next shopper to enter.

The budget retailer has teamed up with tech brand Hitachi to roll out the motion sensors to all 550 UK stores.

Home Bargains has not said when it is planning to begin installing the traffic lights or when it hopes to complete the roll out.

Joe Morris, from TJ Morris, the firm behind Home Bargains, said: "Over the past few months, retail environments have changed, and we’ve had to quickly adapt to new ways of operating.

"New, innovative technologies have played a significant part in us still being able to provide a safe and pleasant shopping experience for our customers."

Aldi also uses a traffic light system that shows when its supermarkets are quietest.

Last year, we reported how creepy billboards are tracking British shoppers with built-in cameras that target ads based on your mood.

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