BOOTHS is ditching self-service check-outs at the majority of its stores after feedback from shoppers.

The supermarket chain is stripping all self-service tills from 25 of its stores, including its branch in Ilkley.

Only two stores in the Lake District – in Windermere and Keswick – will retain the self-service machines to help staff during ‘very busy periods’.

The move makes the supermarket the first in the UK to go back to fully-staffed checkouts.

The firm, which has 16 stores in Lancashire as well as outlets in Yorkshire and Cheshire, said it was responding to customer feedback.

"We believe colleagues serving customers delivers a better customer experience and therefore we have taken the decision to remove self-checkouts in the majority of our stores," the company said.

"We have based this not only on what we feel is the right thing to do but also having received feedback from our customers. We will retain self-checkouts in two of our stores in the Lake District in order to meet the needs of our customers during very busy periods.

"Since 1847, the Booths founding philosophy is to, 'Sell the best goods available, in attractive stores, staffed with first class assistants'. Delighting customers with our warm Northern welcome is part of our DNA and we continue to invest in our people to ensure we remain true to that ethos."

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Booths managing director Nigel Murray, said: "Our customers have told us this over time, that the self-scan machines that we've got in our stores they can be slow, they can be unreliable, they're obviously impersonal.

"We stock quite a lot of loose items - fruit and veg and bakery - and as soon as you go to a self-scan with those you've got to get a visual verification on them, and some customers don't know one different apple versus another for example," he added.

"There's all sorts of fussing about with that and then the minute you put any alcohol in your basket somebody's got to come and check that you're of the right age."

Mr Murray added: "We are a business that prides ourselves on the high standards and high levels of warm, personal care.

"We like to talk to people and we're really proud that we're moving largely to a place where our customers are served by people, by human beings, so rather than artificial intelligence, we're going for actual intelligence."