Scanning for everyone

The self-serve checkouts at busy places like Loblaws or Ikea are a mixed blessing. Good, if you can get yourself thruput faster. Bad, if you fumble your way through because of awkward lookups, etc.

On a recent trip to New England I noticed a few fun differences at their grocery stores. Pack-people ( I would’ve said “packboys” but some were girls, and the one we had I couldn’t tell what gender it was). Cheap eggs ($1.29/doz — jeeze, where are those consumer-protection people in Canada when it’s the government monopoly that screws us?). And Chobani yogurt, only $5.45 (it’s over $8 at Loblaws in Toronto where it is being test marketed against the howls and cries of the current dairy monopolists who are struggling so hard to keep it out of Canada) which tasted great and I brought several back home with me.

And then there was this innovation: scan while you shop. At the front entrance were these portable scanners you take with you in your shopping cart. Scan your customer card (we have a bunch from grocery stores all across America, they take about 60 seconds to get at the service counter the first time you shop) and then scan the groceries as they go into the cart.

Here’s a close-up of the instructions:

At the end of the trip up and down the aisles, checkout time is presumably faster.

Good idea, but I didn’t see anyone using the system, nor did I try myself.

One thought on “Scanning for everyone

  1. Sounds like it might be a great idea, and would shorten the lineups at the cash too.

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