Thursday, February 15, 2007

Food retailers keen on self checkout lanes

Food and grocery retailers are increasingly opting for self checkout lanes. The Burlington Free Press writes about stores such as Price Chopper in Burlington, Vermont have added 'Easy Scan Checkout' machines to eight of its nineteen checkout lanes, where an customers scan, weigh, enter produce codes and bag their own purchases although one employee is present to verify age in alcohol purchases and assist shoppers. Payment is done via credit card or with cash reading machines. Shoppers who use these lanes are usually in a hurry, but usually finish with a sense of accomplishment.
Grocery store self-checkout aisles are becoming more common across the country, said Bill Greer, spokesman for the Food Marketing Institute in Arlington, Va. Systems are more user-friendly and shoppers are more computer literate, creating the conditions for a spike in the number of supermarkets adding the machines. In 2002, just 7.6 percent of U.S. supermarkets had self-checkout systems in at least one store, he said. Three years later, in 2005, the number jumped to 56 percent; 2006 data was not available

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