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Metro Group Shoppers Welcome Self-Checkout: Study

DUSSELDORF, Germany -- German consumers enjoy using self-checkout as an alternative to assisted-service lanes -- and do so frequently -- according to a recent survey of Metro Group shoppers.

Half of the participants of the survey, which was commissioned by NCR Corp., reported using self-checkout every time they shop, even when traditional assisted-service checkout lanes were open with no waiting. Close to 88 percent reported the self-checkout experience as "very positive" and 86 percent said they will "definitely" or "probably" use self-checkout again. Neither age nor gender had a significant influence on consumers' willingness to accept the new technology.

Fifty of Metro's Real hypermarkets and Extra supermarkets across Germany are equipped with self-checkout systems. "The results of the survey are impressive proof that our customers appreciate the additional service provided by self-checkout," said Markus Jablonski, public relations manager for Extra. "During peak periods, there is less pressure on the staff at the traditional checkouts and all the customers spend less time waiting in line."

Seventy-six percent of respondents said they use self-checkout because they find being able to get their shopping done quickly is "important" or "very important." More than two-thirds believe they can complete their transactions more quickly when they do it themselves. In addition, 24 percent said they use self-checkout to avoid waiting in line at the traditional checkouts.

Twenty-five percent of shoppers surveyed using assisted-service lanes said they chose the traditional checkout because they were purchasing large numbers of items on sale, or large numbers of the same item. Half of the self-checkout customers were against limiting the number of items they can check out through these lanes, with 60 percent wanting the freedom to use shopping carts as well as baskets.

A total of 889 customers were interviewed after they had scanned, packed, and paid for their purchases themselves at a self-checkout. Ninety additional customers were questioned after they had paid at a traditional checkout. The survey took place in the spring of 2005 at Real hypermarkets in Mainz, Munich, and Ratingen, and at an Extra supermarket in Tostedt.

Real SB-Warenhaus GmbH, a company belonging to the Metr Group, operates hypermarkets under the brand of "Real" and supermarkets under the brand of "Extra." Real operates 306 hypermarkets in Germany, Poland, and Turkey, and Extra operates 436 stores in Germany.
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