Penney Revamps Customer Check Out

Apr 18, 2002

J.C. Penney sets aside its goal of “one-on-one” customer service as it installs central checkout counters near entrances to help time-stressed customers navigate the store faster, reports the St. Petersburg Times. The new central checkout design is a wooden, concierge-style enclosure equipped with four registers and some workspace, which will be staffed at all times.

“The customer today has changed,” says Vanessa Castagna, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the nation’s second-largest department store chain. “They want stores that are easier to shop and to simplify the buying process. Central checkout is faster and more efficient.”

Penney is spending $50-million to outfit stores with central checkout counters by October.

Moderator Comment: Do central checkouts actually speed
consumers out of the store?

Checkouts at the front of the store are often mentioned
as one of the reasons for Kohl’s success. That said, we have spent more time
waiting in line to check out of Kohl’s than we have on the ride to Space Mountain
at Disney World. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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