New CCTV Technology Detects Whether Or Not Shoppers Are Wearing Masks
However, Whiteley's Garden Centre in Mirfield, West Yorkshire already has the system in place - saying it has received 'positive feedback' from customers, while employees are 'very appreciative' of the technology for removing the 'confrontational element' of asking customers to put on their mask.
The detection system is called Covered, and was developed by Yorkshire-based technology provider Videcon.
It works out whether or not an approaching shopper is wearing a mask; customers who are not wearing one will see a message appear on a screen as a prompt to put one on if they are able to, and are not exempt.
Whiteley's got the Covered system up and running last week, and plans to use it to help control customer behaviour at the main entrance to the store.
Welcoming 450 customers a day, staffing the door had become a full-time job, but the detection system has helped streamline the procedure - having seen a 50 percent decrease in customer non-compliance.
Peter Williams, General Manager of Whiteley's, said: "Customers' and employees' safety should be a top priority for all retailers in the current environment.
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"I was very excited to see how our visitors reacted to this new system and I must admit I was overwhelmed with the volume of positive feedback we've received from customers and employees respectively since the installation by Videcon.
"Our customers are feeling safer coming into the centre knowing that we are doing our best to support national efforts to suppress the virus and our employees are very appreciative of the technology removing the confrontational element, asking customers to put on their mask.
"In addition to the safety benefits, we have also seen immediate financial gains to our business in the form of an increased number of visitors, and reallocation of the resource."
James Ritchey from CCTV.co.uk said the new system is 'fantastic', and helps both retailers and customers.
He told Birmingham Live: "The technology is just fantastic; the CCTV system automatically allows or denies access to the shop and means staff don't have to be put at risk from difficult customers complaining, or potentially worse."
He added: "Retailers are working so hard to stay open during these most difficult times, and this system means staff aren't in the firing line from customers who are unhappy about current restrictions.
"The other side of using an automated system is it gives customers who are worried about the virus confidence as they enter a tightly controlled secure Covid-19 store."
Featured Image Credit: Karol Marketing