Self-Checkouts Seek Change of Scenery
Self-checkout vendors IBM and NCR are betting that a change of scenery will give consumers new reasons to use the technology to get them out of stores.
According to a report on the Storefront Backtalk website, the vendors introduced smaller self-checkout systems intended to be deployed away from the front-end of stores.
The IBM AnyPlace Checkout system was being marketed as a means to deliver customer service in the form of smaller lines by positioning the unit in departments such as the deli and bakery.
NCR was pushing the value of the smaller units as being practical for stores including convenience stores, pharmacies and department stores.
The new IBM units, which are roughly half the cost of front-end models, are meant to handle smaller baskets and are wall-mounted. Fredrik Carlegren, IBM’s offering marketing manager for self-service, told Storefront Backtalk, “If you’re looking at a grocery, a few units (could exist) within any particular department.”
Greg Buzek, the president of IHL Group, said the new systems allow “self-checkout to move into other areas where it’s too costly today. We’re talking convenience and drug stores, places where you don’t have the labor savings to justify” the typical self-checkout system.
Discussion Question: What are your thoughts on the prospects of smaller self-checkout systems? Do you see greater opportunities in stores that have not typically used self-checkout before (convenience, drug, department stores) or in departments such as deli, bakery, etc. in locations that deploy the technology at the front-end?