Bestway Retail has announced that they will be extending the use of age estimation technology in a number of their stores in the UK following a successful trial with Innovative Technology Ltd (ITL). The implementation of the technology is aimed at protecting children from harm in the retail sale of alcohol products.
“Following a successful trial of age verification technology with the Bestway Retail, we are delighted that they have decided to expand the technology into more Bargain Booze stores,” said Andrew O’Brien, ITL Product Manager. “It was first installed in January this year as part of the Home Office sandbox trial which we completed at the end of May. Since the trial began, we have been busy developing MyCheckr – anonymous age estimation powered by ICU Lite, to give an all-in-one, standalone device that retailers can simply plug in to help cashiers with age check decisions.”
Commenting on the decision to extend implementation at additional stores, Clive Binks, Head of Corporate Stores at Bestway Retail said: “As a direct result of the successful trial we will now be installing Innovative’s MyCheckr device at more of our Bargain Booze stores. The technology is helping to boost staff ‘s confidence when asking customers for ID and of course anything that ensures we protect children is paramount to us as a responsible business.”
The Association of Convenience Stores Crime Report 2022 found that “enforcing an age restricted sales policy” is one of the top triggers for violence or abuse against staff. ITL also report that the technology is successfully being used to aid staff and protect them from abuse.
Andy Bullock, Senior Business Development Manager commented, “The trial of our age estimation technology with Bestway Retail was a great success and we are grateful to our ICU distribution partner, Chris Woodall from CC Dynamic who was instrumental in siting the stores, establishing the right contacts and ensuring all the kit needed at each location met the specific requirement of the store and its customers. With the help of Chris and our biometrics team from installation to trial completion, staff were impressed with the benefits the technology brings, so we look forward to rolling this out further.”
MyCheckr is simple to use, with a green LED above the screen indicating that no age check is required, or a red light showing when an age check is recommended. The technology has the highest accuracy of any independently tested solution and is the only GDPR certified age estimation system in the world.
“Feedback from one of the store managers was that the technology should be rolled out everywhere in pubs and shops to take the sole responsibility away from bouncers and servers,” Andrew concluded. “Another said they would like to continue using it after the trial end date as all staff refer to the unit before serving and commented on its accuracy, even with masks or face coverings. With over 75 per cent of those staff questioned wanting to keep using the technology, we are delighted that we can now begin installation of the market-ready MyCheckr device at several Bargain Booze stores. Bestway Retail has embraced this initiative and clearly take their responsibility for protecting children from being mis-sold alcohol seriously. We look forward to working with other retailers in the future to help them meet their licensing objectives using age estimation technology.”