Extra tills will be installed at the Co-operative supermarket in Bramber House to tackle long queues. The Southern Co-operative intends to fit two additional check-out positions and introduce a fingerprint scanning system to enable quicker transactions on age-restricted goods.
Steve Tremlett, Head of Retail Business Development for the Southern Co-operative said: “We’re confident that these two initiatives will significantly improve the level of customer service that we’re able to offer”.
Criticism of queues has mounted since the supermarket first opened in September, replacing the Student Union newsagent, McColls supermarket, Post Office, Baguette Express and toilets.
Customers have currently had to wait for up to 20 minutes during particularly busy periods in queues snaking around the store.
Second year History student Tori Turner said: “Each time I have used the new Co-op, queues have been massive.
“It was definitely frustrating, particularly as I was only shopping for two or three items”.
First year Geography and International Relations student Doran Hanlon described his feelings of both “horror and boredom” at having to queue for 20 minutes to pay for his shopping.
“The longer I’m here the less I want the things in my basket”, he said.
Customers who look under 25 will be able to register on a database recording their finger prints, which means ID will not be required to purchase age-restricted goods such as alcohol.
The plans also include increasing the capacity of the queuing area, to combat students having to queue along the aisles. Steve Tremlett at the Southern Co-operative added: “Trading has exceeded our expectations and we realise something needs to be done about the length of queues. We’ll keep the situation under constant review as the store operation continues to bed down up to and after the Christmas break”.
The Bramber House Co-operative employs over 80 staff and is run in partnership by the Southern Co-operative and the Students’ Union, which employs and manages the student staff.
The University of Sussex Students Union greeted the proposals: “This should really help to ease the queues for both our student staff working in the store and our student members who are shopping there”.
The improvement works are scheduled for the night of Thursday 3 November.