Coinstar Inc., a provider of coin-counting systems that supermarkets use as an adjunct to in-store financial services, announced its first installations in major U.K. supermarkets.

The self-service machines have been placed at a Tesco store and seven London-area Savacentres, which are operated by the Sainsbury's chain.

Sainsbury's, which has 398 supermarkets and 13 Savacentres, and Tesco, with 639 U.K. stores, have a combined 40% market share. Each is pursuing an aggressive in-store banking strategy.

Paul Wilson, retail innovation manager for Sainsbury's, said early customer reaction is "very positive."

Coinstar chief executive officer Jens Molbak said, "British consumers are confirming what our research told us: Coin hoarding is a problem because, until now, there hasn't been an easy way to cash in coins."

He added, "One of the challenges of entering a new market is determining how best to work within the retailers' operational needs and the logistics of the banking system. I am pleased to report that our service is functioning very smoothly from an operational perspective."

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