Beating the checkout line: Giant Eagle says do it yourself
Giant Eagle is building loyalty by enabling customers to check their own goods out - even big orders - to help beat the frustration of waiting in line.
One of the most frustrating experiences for a loyal, high value supermarket shopper is to stand in line, waiting for a trolley full of goods to be checked out, and watch the cherry pickers with less than ten items whizzing through the express checkouts. For years this has presented supermarket operators with an apparently insoluble problem. You can't really make the shopper who has come in for a pint of milk wait while trolleys full of goods are checkout out but, at the same time, it doesn't look good to the high value shoppers if you give him preferential treatment.
One of the possible answers lies in self checkouts that can handle high volume purchases.
Already tested US supermarket chain, Giant Eagle, is installing new self checkouts in all of its grocery stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Giant Eagle already has the checkouts in 35 of its stores, and more than US$100 million worth of groceries has been checked through them. The ACM solution used (from PSI and IBM) makes self checkout available to all shoppers with its ability to allow shoppers with either large or small baskets to scan their order and - without the need for a cashier - pay with cash, credit cards or debit cards.
According to PSI's president, Michael Persky, company's store surveys reveal that one in three customers actually choose a store based on the availability of a self checkout facility.
Agreement The ACM (Automated Checkout Machine), has a conveyor-based lane design and closely resembles a conventional checkout lane, but also incorporates full-color touch-screen, multi-media instruction, and online look-up screens to make it customer friendly and easy to use. The ACM is now integrated with IBM's POS components, services and support, offering maximum reliability to retailers. PSI and IBM signed an agreement earlier this year to co-market the new ACM solution to retailers.