Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stores Make Push in Scan and Go Tech, Hope Shoppers Adopt It

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stores Make Push in Scan and Go Tech, Hope Shoppers Adopt It

Article excerpt

Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after they're done shopping? Old school. More stores are letting customers tally their choices with a phone app or store device as they roam the aisles.

For customers, scanning as they go can be faster and make it simpler to keep track of spending. For stores, the big expansion of this technology coming this year costs less than installing more self-checkouts.

Like many changes in retail, the expansion of scan-and-go comes from retailers' trying to make store shopping more convenient and hang on to customers used to Amazon, which just opened a cashier-less store in Seattle. And like other automation technologies, it shifts more of the work to shoppers while freeing up employees for higher-value tasks. That's especially critical as stores look for ways to make their workers more efficient as they wrestle with rising wages.

The technology, while slightly different from chain to chain, allows shoppers to scan UPC codes on items as they shop. It can be used for many products beyond just groceries, and if people change their minds about something, they can delete items and change quantities before checking out.

Some stores allow payment directly from the phone, with a worker then checking over the digital receipt, while others require shoppers to go to a self-checkout lane or a kiosk to finalize their purchases.

A big push is coming this year from big chains: Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional grocery chain, is adding the scan-and-go technology to 400 stores. Walmart is testing the service in 120 stores, while all its Sam's Club stores, which number about 600, have it. B.J.'s Wholesale Club has launched the service in a handful of stores and plans to add it to about 100 clubs this year.

One reason is that stores are investing less in their self-checkout lanes and opting for scan-and-go technology that's less expensive because it doesn't need as much special hardware just an app or the scanners, says Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce and content practice at consulting group SapientRazorfish. …

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