Sainsbury's and Asda use technology to scrap queuing outside

Shoppers no longer have to queue to get to Asda or Sainsbury’s stores.

Queues to enter supermarkets have become a common place in the coronavirus pandemic as rules mean that stores must limit the number of people inside, ensure customers wear masks, and offer hand cleaning at the door.

But now both Sainsbury’s and Asda are using virtual queues, via apps on your phone, so you don’t have to stand outside.

This is especially important when winter sets in and the weather gets colder and wetter by the day.

And the queues could be bigger in the coming weeks as people stock up for Christmas.

55 Sainsbury’s stores will now use the queue app, reports The Mirror, allowing customers to virtually add themselves to their local store’s queue.

Shoppers are notified when they are at the front of the queue, which means they can go straight in.

Customers without a smartphone can ask an employee to be added to the virtual queue and be notified when it is their turn.

The app, which is offered by Ufirst, was tested in July and is now being tried in more stores.

Asda now has a similar app in about 50 of its stores. The system was tested in May at Middleton’s Leeds branch The grocer.

The virtual queue of the budget supermarket is managed by Qudini, which allows customers to log in with an app, scan a QR code or send an SMS.

The QR code displays a countdown to let shoppers know where they are in the queue, while the SMS system sends an alert when it’s their turn.

Similar technology is used in three John Lewis stores.

With the version of M&S, customers can book a 30-minute slot to shop in any of the 566 self-contained dining rooms and branches.