Self Service was a retail format introduced into Britain from the USA around 1949. It came to Chorlton in the summer of 1950. In a long running programme the M and S Co-op rolled out the aisles and wire baskets to the branches. It took a further nine years for it appear at the Hardy Lane store.
These photos are in an article "Toasting Self Service", about the success of new way of shopping in the Chorlton branch. They are very likely have been photographed at the branch at 349-351 Barlow Moor Road. It was in the red brick building next to the Royal Oak. Quoting from the story...
"More and more of the housewives of Chorlton are realising that this clean, modern, and well-planned shop is the answer to many shopping headaches. All goods are plainly ticketed, all items are visible, the queues are gone"
"To complete the circuit of this self-service shop is to pass the fitments containing items of grocery, green grocery, small items of hardware, bread and confectionary. The shopper determines the speed of purchase".
Note the fruit and vegetables still needed a member of staff to weigh and bag the items. Not shown too clearly is the "Rations Here" department at the back of the shop. It wouldn't be until 1954 that the last of the items on ration came to an end.
Reference : Manchester and Salford Co-operative Herald July 1950, page 172-3