All-Self-Checkout Fresh & Easy Gets High Marks
Tesco’s test of an all-self-checkout Fresh & Easy store has apparently gone over well with consumers, according to the survey of consumers in its test store in the U.S.
The Retail Bulletin website reported that a survey of shoppers conducted by Tesco found that 90 percent were ‘satisfied or very satisfied’ with the self-checkout experience.
A separate “independent survey” (Retail Bulletin did not identify the researcher) found that 60 percent of shoppers had a “favorable” opinion of the all-self-checkout store while 27 percent said the type of checkout “doesn’t matter.” The remaining 13 percent expressed a preference for checkouts with cashiers.
Mike Webster, chief of strategy and communications officer at NCR, said that Fresh & Easy’s format lends itself to self-checkouts. All of Fresh & Easy’s products, with the exception of bananas, come packaged with a bar code, reducing customers’ need for assistance at checkouts.
Ultimately, Mr. Webster maintained, the use of self-checkouts in the Fresh & Easy format leads to better customer service in stores while helping to reduce labor costs at the same time.
“There is an opportunity to manage labor more effectively by putting the staff away from the tills and in the aisles. This is a primary driver of self-service for retailers,” he said.
Another benefit, according to Mr. Webster, is that self-checkouts have a smaller footprint than traditional manned units. This enables Fresh & Easy to free up space in the small format stores.
Discussion Questions: Are Americans ready for all-self-checkout stores? Does self-checkout lend itself to small format stores such as Fresh & Easy better than in big box locations? Does an all-self-checkout store amount to a competitive edge for Fresh & Easy?