Yellow stickers on discounted items could soon be a thing of the past as UK supermarkets edge towards a new automated pricing method.

An artificial intelligence (AI) system which automatically reduces prices in the run-up to a product’s sell-by date has been rolled out across Europe, reports The Telegraph, and supermarkets across the UK have already begun using similar products including electronic shelf labels (ESLs).

Aldi, Lidl, and M&S already use ESLs in selected stores across the UK, while fellow supermarket chains including Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's have also trialled them in recent years.

Worcester News: Aldi are among a number of UK supermarkets that already use electronic shelf labels.Aldi are among a number of UK supermarkets that already use electronic shelf labels. (Image: PA)

While a yellow sticker needs to be manually placed on items by staff in supermarkets, new electronic tags would automatically reduce the price on items when they were coming up to their use by dates - meaning the lower price is in front of customers sooner.

Digital labelling should be rolled out in UK supermarkets "sooner rather than later" says expert

The Retail Champion founder Clare Bailey, speaking to The Telegraph, said the move to digital labelling could help reduce labour, production costs and food waste and should be rolled out in supermarkets across the UK "sooner rather than later". 


Ms Bailey said: “It is something that [retailers] should be looking to do much sooner rather than later, because the technology has been proven.” 

The retail expert said the technology could be beneficial to consumers, as it could be used to pass on price decreases more quickly.

“I think as long as it is used for the benefit of the customer, or where a genuine price increase has to be made, then that’s pretty good use for the technology,” she added.