MORRISONS are developing a store where shoppers will be able to pick up their groceries without the need for a till.

The Bradford-based supermarket chain is developing the concept, which has been nicknamed as Project Sarah.

The project has been developed at the firm's Gain Lane headquarters for more than 18 months. It is not yet known when the shop will be available for use by customers.

But the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) has criticised such moves by supermarkets, saying it 'does not want to see jobs cut through the introduction of new technology' and supermarkets should invest in staff.

The unmanned Morrisons store will require customers to download an app on to their phone which must be scanned when they enter the new-look store.

A series of digital cameras track the customers while they are in the store and also record the products they pick up from the shelves to take home.

It is understood the initial design of the store can be transported and moved directly into different sites.

Joanne McGuiness, Usdaw national officer, said: "Shopworkers provide the customer service that many shoppers really value and we do not want to see jobs cut through the introduction of new technology. "There are real concerns about theft from stores without tills, disputes over technology errors and customer confusion on how systems work.

"All of these are currently problems with self-scan tills and can be real flashpoints for abuse of shopworkers.

"All too often retailers are dazzled by new technology, chasing solutions to problems that don’t exist.

"Usdaw believes that employers should invest in staff. Well paid shopworkers, in secure jobs, who are valued and respected are what is best for business."

Morrisons is not the first UK supermarket to be looking into this type of technology.

Sainsbury’s teamed up with Amazon in November last year to open a store where customers can pick up items and leave without having to use a till.

It opened the store in Holborn, central London last November, yards away from similar checkout-free stores from Amazon and Tesco.

Sainsbury’s is using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology for the store, in Amazon’s first partnership with a third-party international customer for the technology.

Meanwhile, Tesco launched its first checkout-free high street store in October last year where shoppers can pick up their groceries without the need for a till.

Aldi opened its own till-free shop in September last year.