Self-Checkout, Part III

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Self-Checkout, Part III


Over the past couple of e-newsletters we’ve covered the topic of self-checkout, including my observations as well as reader observations on the technology, and overall the opinion was that it’s not so much as what technology you have, but how it’s deployed.

At the risk of beating the topic to death, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t relay to you my experience with perhaps one of the best traditional self-checkout setups I’ve seen in person, and this was at the Ronetco ShopRite in Byram Township, N.J.

I mentioned this store in my last newsletter, but last week I visited it in-person, and from a consumer perspective, it’s a dream to experience.

First, from a distance you can easily see signage guiding you to where the self-checkout units are, and what’s more, where the line for them begins. Too many grocers just have the units on the floor with no guidance, and shoppers enter the area from all directions with no order.

At this ShopRite, there is only one entrance to the self-checkout area. This entrance takes you through a mini-aisle of fixtures merchandising fresh takeout foods, beverages, candy, gum, and last-minute HBC items – and they are merchandised tastefully, not just thrown wherever space would allow them.

At the end of the aisle is what I would call the “on deck” area – a large sign on the floor shows where the self-checkout line starts, leaving no doubt as to who the next shopper is.

When you do get to the self-checkout units, only a minimum of items are displayed, allowing shoppers to focus on the transaction, and quickly finish their transactions.

A setup like this makes ma actually want to use the self-checkout. And according to owner D.J. Romano, it’s encouraging his shoppers to do the same.

Details and photos of Ronetco’s front end redesign will be included in the cover story of our September edition of Progressive Grocer Independent