Central England Co-operative is trialing a new relaxed checkout lane at a food store in Derbyshire, to help support vulnerable customers.

The Ripley convenience store is one of two sites in the Midlands taking part in the pilot project which is aimed at customers who need a little extra time at the till.

It is hoped that the designated ‘extra time’ checkout lane will prove useful for elderly shoppers, those with mental health needs or social anxiety, shoppers suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as people with autism.

Riply store manager Gavin Glidewell said: “We are really proud to be trialling the ‘extra time’ checkout project for our customers and members in Ripley.

“The special lane means that there will be no rush or pressure to get items on to the conveyor belt and packed away at the other end. Our new relaxed checkout is open to all and we want people to feel free to take as long as they need to go through the checkout.”

The ‘extra time’ checkout lane will be signposted with posters instore and will operate from 10am to 12pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The trial project will run for three weeks from August 27 and is also taking place at a food store in Oakham, Leicestershire.

Commenting on the trial, Paul Edwards, director of clinical services at Dementia UK, said: “This thoughtful move from our partners at Central England Co-operative will really help people with dementia and other issues in their day-to-day lives.

“The Extra Time Checkout is an excellent initiative to make people with dementia feel welcome and respected, while helping them to live fulfilling, independent lives.”