Harris Teeter tests self-checkout store
While cashier-less stores like Amazon Go that feature mobile checkout have gotten much of the attention lately, Harris Teeter is testing a store featuring self-checkout-only stations.
The 18,000-square-foot store in Charlotte is about half the size of a traditional Harris Teeter and has no manned checkouts. Harris Teeter says the store has “significantly” smaller transactions than a typical location as its customer base is largely comprised of urban residents and professionals. The increased number of self-checkout stations is expected to speed transactions with so many consumers requiring express-lane checkouts.
“We believe this will allow us to provide better customer service by having more lanes available, so shoppers should be able to get in and out more quickly. This is our only store of this size, so [there are] no plans to move forward past this unique design,” Harris Teeter said in a statement to the Charlotte Observer.
The store won’t eliminate jobs. The transition is expected to be complete by mid-April.
The test comes as a plethora of mobile self-checkout options have arrived. Amazon.com, Kroger, Meijer, Sam’s Club and Macy’s are among those enabling shoppers to essentially scan items and check out via their smartphones.
Self-scanning terminals, however, have become an expectation at larger grocers and discounters and are either staying in place or expanding at many locations. New research from P&S Intelligence cites labor shortages and labor savings as the two primary factors for growth in self-checkout systems.
While often earning a bad rap for the glitches shoppers experience using them, self-scanning stations are also looked at by many retailers and shoppers as a way to solve the in-store pain point of long checkout lines. And many consumers, particularly younger ones, are growing more comfortable using self-checkout.
According to a survey by Civic Science from July 2018, 57 of U.S. consumers preferred to check out with a cashier, 33 percent via self-checkout kiosk and 10 percent had no preference.
Self-checkout kiosks were preferred by 46 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34, 35 percent for those between the ages of 35 and 54 and only 19 percent by those 55 and older.
- This Charlotte Harris Teeter is dropping traditional checkout lines – Charlotte Observer
- Harris Teeter Going All Self-Checkout at Charlotte, NC Store – Progressive Grocer
- Harris Teeter dropping traditional checkout lines at uptown Charlotte location – Fox 46
- Americas Self-Checkout Systems Market is Expected to Reach $7.1 Billion by 2024 – P&S Intelligence/Globe Newswire
- Americans Aren’t Ready for Cashiers to Check Out Just Yet – Civic Science
- Consumers Agree: In-Store Checkout Needs to Be Quick and Easy – eMarketer
- Annual Connected Retailer Survey: New SOTI Survey Reveals U.S. Consumers Prefer Speed and Convenience When Shopping with Limited Human Interaction – Soti
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does a self-checkout-only store make sense for a store such Harris Teeter’s that relies on smaller transaction sizes? Do you see value for self-scan terminals, particularly as mobile checkout advances?