Marks & Spencer (Al-Futtaim) and CLX partner to reduce wait times in busy Foodhall in Central, Hong Kong. 

CLX is excited to work with Al-Futtaim to transform customer experiences in Marks & Spencer stores in Hong Kong. Last month, the Central Tower Foodhall on Queen’s Road Central, re-opened with a brand new and improved checkout experience.  

Al-Futtaim engaged specialist retail consultants, CLX Professionals to design and implement a full front-end transformation. The challenge was to provide more checkout options and reduce customer queues, especially during peak periods such as lunch time and the holidays.  

Within weeks of store re-opening, we are seeing positive uptake of the new checkout options with no compromise to customer satisfaction. Customer wait times especially during the busy lunch hour have greatly reduced. 

In developing our solution, CLX reviewed multiple data points such as basket size, average transaction time, method of payment (cash or card), customer profiles and more.  

Central Tower is in a busy, international and commercial part of Hong Kong. Customers are a mix of multilingual locals, expats, tourists and businesspeople.  

Its previous front end offered eight traditional checkouts. This at times, created long queues during lunch hours when many workers with small baskets needed to get out as quickly as possible.  

For management, there was little flexibility during unexpected staff shortages as opening all eight checkouts would require eight team members to be available.  

Additionally, there was the challenge of space. With a small footprint, all solutions needed to fit in. The space needed to feel open and welcoming with a place for trolleys and baskets after their use. 

CLX deployed its strategy and design teams to model different layout and checkout options.  

We designed, prototyped, and manufactured bespoke solutions including four smaller traditional checkouts, six slimline self-checkouts for basket shops and two compact trolley self-checkouts, providing a total of 12 checkout options.   

All three solutions were designed with aesthetics, ergonomics, and practicality at front of mind. We introduced larger packing areas on the traditional checkouts and built-in storage solutions to reduce clutter.  

The combination of the three options creates a balanced front end, enabling customers to choose how they want to checkout.  

The space also has clear customer entry and exit routes, improving customer flow so it feels less crowded.  

To support the change, CLX designed and developed a multilingual change and training program. 

The program, developed in English and traditional Chinese was delivered in Cantonese, aimed to build motivation, knowledge and skills so team members could direct customers to the right checkout option, coach customers who chooses to use self checkout and continue to provide exceptional customer service through verbal and non-verbal communications.  

The partnership between CLX and Al-Futtaim Marks & Spencer began in August. From strategy to design, to manufacturing, human-centred change management and delivery, the project was completed in 12 weeks. 

We look forward to working with Al-Futtaim Marks & Spencer to elevate customer experiences in Hong Kong and beyond.  

CLX specialises in delivering front end solutions to improve customer experiences. Get in touch to find out how we can design and deliver your front-end transformation.  


Sarah Campbell, Director, Middle East and Strategy and Partnerships, Global – sarah@clxprofessionals.com