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LONDON - NCR Corporation today announced that leading U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer will install NCR FastLane self-checkout in eight additional stores, following a successful three-store pilot.
Marks & Spencer also is launching a test of a new "virtual self-checkout assistant" who greets shoppers with a smile and a wink and answers common questions that may encourage them to use self-checkout.
Displayed on an NCR EasyPoint kiosk, the virtual self-checkout assistant is a photo-realistic 3-D image modeled on an employee of the Marks & Spencer Gateshead store, where the test is taking place. NCR partnered with U.S.-based Haptek to develop the virtual assistant, which is triggered by the kiosk's motion detector as shoppers approach the self-checkout lanes.
"Marks & Spencer's three-store trial of NCR FastLane has proved such a huge hit that we want our customers in more stores to have the choice of using self-checkout over traditional manned checkouts," said Ralph Marshall, head of Store Systems at Marks & Spencer. "By creating awareness through a virtual self-checkout assistant, Marks & Spencer is looking to encourage even more customers to use NCR FastLane.