OPERATIONS

Kroger expands checkout-free technology to more divisions

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The nation’s largest supermarket retailer is outfitting more stores with technology designed to eliminate checkout lanes.

Throughout 2018, Kroger Co. will deploy its Scan, Bag, Go shopping technology in 18 operating divisions, making the service available to customers at 400 stores. The expansion is based on a successful 20-store test.

Kroger will roll out the technology at select locations in the following divisions: Atlanta; Central; Cincinnati; Columbus; Dallas; Delta; Dillons; Fred Meyer; Fry’s; Houston; King Soopers; Louisville; Michigan; Mid-Atlantic; Nashville; Ralphs; Smith’s; and QFC. All chosen locations will launch the technology by the end of the year.

“Kroger is redefining the customer experience and reimagining the store of the future,” said Chris Hjelm, Kroger’s executive VP and CIO. “After testing Scan, Bag, Go in several locations, we are bringing this transformative technology to new stores across the country.”

The technology, which was designed by Kroger’s in-house research and development team, enables shoppers to use a wireless handheld scanner or download the “Scan, Bag, Go” app onto their personal device. Customers use the technology to scan and bag products as they shop.

In addition to delivering a quicker, seamless checkout experience, the technology also allows customers to view and download digital coupons, keep a running total of their order, and view the current week’s sales ad. While Scan, Bag, Go customers currently visit a store’s self-checkout area to provide payment, customers will soon have the ability to provide payment directly through the app, according to Kroger.

The program is being offered alongside traditional checkout lanes, self-checkout, online ordering, curbside pickup, and home delivery available in select cities.

Kroger isn’t the only retailer fine-tuning a checkout-free strategy. Amazon uses its own version of cashier-less checkout in its new Amazon Go store, which opened to the public last week.

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