Sainsbury’s, Asda and Marks & Spencer are all rapidly expanding their virtual queueing systems to reduce physical waiting times over the Christmas period.
Sainsbury’s, who first trialled its app-based virtual queuing technology in five stores in July, has now rolled out the technology to a further 42 stores, bringing its total to 55.
The grocer says it could rapidly expand the system even further depending on local lockdowns and government restrictions as the COVID-19 situation develops.
It comes after Asda, first major UK supermarket to roll out a virtual queuing system in May, introduced the technology to 50 stores across the UK.
Other retailers have taken a slightly different approach to the virtual queuing solution.
M&S has introduced a “Book & Shop” system, allowing shoppers to pre-book a 30-minute shopping slot so there are no wait times at all.
According to the retailer over 175,000 slots have now been booked by customers.
For those that are required to wait outside, M&S says it is now providing “festive tunnels” to shelter customers, complete with scannable QR codes that take shoppers to the brand’s top picks for festive goods.