The Future is Self-Service

Dec 05, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Self-checkouts are a fait accompli. Supermarkets, mass merchandisers and DIY outlets are installing them as standard equipment in new stores and retrofitting front-ends to accommodate them in existing locations.

The rationale for adding self-checkouts is a straightforward proposition. Consumers are able to move more quickly through the checkout (at least that is the perception) and stores save on labor costs.

“We pump gas ourselves, there is no reason that we cannot check out groceries by ourselves,” says Winn-Dixie spokesman Mickey Clerc. “Self-checkout lanes relieve the pressure at night and get people out more quickly.”

Manufacturers of self-checkout systems say retailers can expect to recoup their investment in a year’s time. Avivah Litan, of the Gartner Group told Reuters that “a $30,000 machine can save a store as much $70,000 annually in labor costs.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is the future of self-checkout

Ultimately, self-checkout will not solely be about what
transpires at the front end. The Reuters article said that portable self-checkout
units such as wireless devices are growing in popularity.
Anderson – Moderator

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