Bestway has confirmed it will continue digital age verification for alcohol purchases in stores, as rival supermarkets have welcomed further development of the initiative.
Last year, the wholesaler, alongside Asda, Co-op, Morrisons and Tesco participated in a government trial of the digital ID scheme. Three of the group’s symbol stores – a Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and Tippl site – were used for the trial.
The stores had specialised cameras at the till, which analysed features of a customer’s face to establish their age. An alert is then flagged up on a corresponding screen, advising cashiers to ID the customer.
A Bestway spokesperson told betterRetailing that the technology has been extended to a Central Convenience store in Southampton, where a review will be conducted after two months. The location was chosen due to its dense population of young students.
Bestway to consolidate symbol portfolio into Costcutter, Best-one, Bargain Booze and Wine Rack
They added: “We are trialling this store as we want to trial the technology in a highly populated student area, as many students who are over 18 years old often don’t look it. This store is our largest University Central Convenience Store location, located right next to Southampton University, and so the ID visual check will be used more often, helping us to assist with our Challenge 25 responsibilities.”
Meanwhile, rival supermarkets who also participated in the trial said this month they would further support this method of age verification, and welcome legislative change in the area.
A spokesperson from Yoti, the firm who provided age verification technology to participating supermarkets, said: “There were no reported sales of underage customers purchasing age restricted items when using our age verification technology.”
The Home Office is to release its full findings of the trial soon.
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