Last weekend, I popped into a revamped Co-op to find out how it was competing with local independent convenience stores.

As I approached the huge queue that was starting to snake around the shop I decided that one of the two empty self-service machines would be a quicker option.

However, on scanning the very first item I hit an issue with the till and, as I scanned each item in my basket, I came up against more problems and had to keep calling over a member of staff, who was swamped with the snaking queue of customers.

“They’re trying to save money, but they need to give us an extra person to manage these,” she said apologetically.

She was unsure of what to do when an item wasn’t listed and suggested I use the regular tills next time. We muddled through together and I was finally able to pay for my shopping and leave, while she dashed back to the checkouts.

At Retail Express, we love bringing you new ideas, whether it’s advances in technology, new services or untapped categories such as those in our Fit for the Future series, and we fully support retailers that want to forward their businesses.

But when introducing anything new to your shop you need to make sure staff are fully informed about it, fully trained on it (if needed), and support the value it brings the store.

Then give them the support they need to make it a success.