Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Self-service picking up in the UK

According to NCR (as quoted in this article from The Retail Bulletin), "[t]he number of self-service checkouts at supermarkets in the UK will increase dramatically in 2006 as virtually all major retailers say they have plans for expansion. Indeed, the self-service revolution may even spill over into other retail sectors."

This is actually a really interesting article focusing mostly on self-checkout systems deployed in the UK. Things I learned include:

  • The installation of self-checkout devices typically has no measurable impact on shrinkage (theft).
  • Even though it takes the average consumer about 350% more time to scan their own items (3 seconds for a cahier vs 11 for a consumer), they "feel" that the process is much quicker because their attention is occupied.
  • At at least one Tesco store, 60% of the checkout stations are self-service, and the company leaves open the possibility that someday some of their stores may be entirely cashier-less

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