Supermarkets Pouring Bucks Into Self-checkout and Workforce Management, Says Study

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Supermarkets plan to increase spending on self-checkout systems and workforce management software in the next 12 months, according to a new report from retail analyst and consultancy firm IHL Consulting Group.

"Self-checkout is the prominent focus of hardware capital spend this year for grocers," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL. "These systems are quite expensive in comparison to most other capital projects, and the purchases are dominating IT budgets this year. In terms of software spend, grocers say their largest store-level software spend is focused on workforce management solutions as they re-align labor needs with self-checkout installations."

Released today, the 103-page report, "IT and the North American Supermarket," analyzes how technology can be used to meet challenges currently facing grocers.

The report's findings include:

-- Thirty-one percent of respondents plan to install self-checkout systems in 2005, and a total of 50 percent plan to do so by June 2006.

-- Grocers are planning to upgrade to self-checkout before replacing aging point-of-sale hardware. Once self-checkout is installed, POS hardware and software are their next big purchase in most cases.

-- There is a shift in the purchase intentions of POS systems. Forty-three percent now say they will buy POS hardware and software from different vendors in their next purchase.

-- Forty-four percent are planning new workforce management solutions in the next year and more than 40 percent are planning new kiosk implementations at the store level by June 2006.
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