A major overhaul of the checkout system at a Wiltshire supermarket has sparked outrage with some customers threatening a boycott.

Waitrose confirmed it has increased the number of self-service checkouts at their Malmesbury branch, just off the A429, from three to 11 to meet “rising demand.”

The store will retain four traditional checkouts for customers who prefer a more personalised service.

But the changes have been met with anger from some regular shoppers, who have suggested they will now take their business elsewhere.

Taking to Facebook, one resident said: “I know I am not alone in being surprised, disappointed and cross that Malmesbury Waitrose is replacing the face-to-face tills with self-checkouts.

“Waitrose’s reputation is built on a perceived personal relationship between customers and staff - I am not alone in being on first-name terms with at least five of your checkout personnel.

“The current policy totally undermines an ethos that has been built over many years.

“I anticipate a significant number of previously loyal customers will switch alliance to a nearby outlet which has no self-service facility.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Another regular at the store confirmed she would no longer be shopping at Waitrose following the announcement.

She added: “I always only use staffed checkouts. I actually told the staff member on the checkout this afternoon that I would not be shopping there anymore.

“I value staff contact and many others do also. Not happy.”

Some customers were so outraged over the decision that they wrote letters to the Waitrose & Partners Head Office in Bracknell.

But others have supported the move, arguing that self-service machines are easier and more efficient.

One local said: “Scan as you shop is quicker and easier. I’m a total convert.

“You will still be able to queue and have your shopping scanned by a cashier if you want.

“I genuinely don’t see why people are getting so upset about it.”

Waitrose insists the alterations to the store are reflective of how customers like to pay for their shopping, with demand for self-service machines on the rise.

The retailer added that shoppers will still have the choice to use a face-to-face checkout if they prefer.

A spokesperson said: "These changes reflect how customers choose to shop with us.

“With more and more customers choosing self-checkouts, we've introduced more of these tills to meet demand.

"While these can be quicker and more convenient, we know some customers prefer a personal service, so still have plenty of conventional tills and friendly Partners on hand to help."