The new packing benches on manned lanes
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CLX Professionals in partnership with Coles were forced to move quickly to ensure team member and customer safety instore. Led by National Design Manager James Lancaster the packing bench, one of the newest innovations as a response to the crisis, has now been rolled out across 500 stores nationwide.
“We found out very quickly that the existing checkouts weren’t fit for our new circumstances. Therefore, we needed to create something that meant that customers were at a safe 1.5 metre distance to staff and there was as little physical contact as possible” said James.
The new packing benches are an extension of the existing checkouts. Bagging wells have been created that sit at the bottom of a slope. This ensures when team members scan items, they naturally slide down the slope towards the back of the checkout where customers can pack their bags. The payment terminals, receipt printer and customer monitor have also all been moved to the back of the checkout to encourage distancing.
“We managed the packing benches project alongside Coles from start to finish. Logistically we had to establish volume, how many stores we could fit them into and how quickly we could deploy the solution. This ended up being a combination of retrofitting packing benches onto existing checkouts in store and installing brand new checkouts with the packing bench end already incorporated.”
Alongside the packing benches CLX Professionals has developed new training material to ensure the correct operating protocols, scan techniques and customer dialogue are also adopted to support a seamless experience for team and customer.
The CLX team knows that this may not be the long-term future of checkouts. It is, however, indicative of the constantly changing nature of retail and the need for quick and effective customer-oriented solutions for business.
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