Self grocery checkout

Discussion in 'Community' started by SlyHunter, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Grocery stores have to deal with 1 - 1.5% profit or so some experts have said on TV, I don't know if its true or not. employees of places like Walmart and other grocery stores are already near the bottom of the barrel in pay. A method to make groceries cheaper, cost of business cheaper but could cost people their jobs. Problem is should we stop progress?
    One of the examples I've seen on tv is where customes scan bar code and then sits item in bag and a scale weighs it to make sure its the correct item. Smart shop lifters would switch bar codes between things that weight about the same. Other systems like the commercial on tv where the guy puts everything in an oversized overcoat and walks thru a scanner rely on micro radio transmitters. They have no battery the scanner transmits a low wattage (or is it amperage) and that powers all the transmitters on the groceries as you walk thru. But last I heard those things sold for 5 bucks a piece and that would be a huge mark up if thats what they used unless they brought the cost down in the last couple of years.
     
  2. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #2
    I don't think digital checkouts at stores is going to transform much for a while. And I say this because similar technologies have nowhere reached the transformation the article suggests about digital checkouts. EZ-Pass, for one, is present at nearly every toll plaza, but it hasn't removed the human system even halfway. So EZPass didn't transform the way tollpayers pay. EZPass provided another option using a much different concept.

    I feel that the same is true for digital checkouts. Shoppers have the option to use it. So, in my view, digital checkouts like those at WalMart etc. are no transformation.

    (Oh, and digital shopping is growing over at Home Depot as well.)
     
  3. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #3
    Man, as if being a check-out clerk isn't boring enough. Try being one of the people that has to attend those self-checkout machines. They look like wraiths standing there with the 1000 yard stare. Imagine what their day is like.
    Recipe for insanity.
     
  4. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    #4
    I used one once... I can see a world were all people are employed and no one has to stand in the same place for hours on end scanning items over a device the beeps... that would be a good time to use them...
     
  5. candan9019 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario-> Louisiana-> Colorado-> Ontario
    #5
    I love self checkouts. Noboady uses them so there's never a line. I think some older people are intimidated by them. And the ones I have used speak spanish half the time which may confuse some people.

    They won't replace cashiers for a while, so they can all keep there boring low payed jobs.
     
  6. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #6
    I like them because I usually only go into the grocery for a few things, and the "express checkout" line is usually far from being fast. I have found that some self-checkouts are slower than others though, but it still beats sitting in line with 10 other people. ;)
     
  7. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #7
    This is certainly another methodology being tried out to lower the need for human labor, start nibbling at the Unions that protect them, and make the fat cats fatter and the shareholders happier.

    Technology marches on, of course. But it frightens me how the job market is shifting these days. It's difficult to find those once plentiful decent jobs "in the middle" that gave one a sense of protection and pride. The middle area is getting squeezed tighter and tighter.

    I was fascinated to see a self serve check out installed in our local Ralphs a while ago. Normally, a "checker" would have one checkout system to him or her self, being responsible for one customer at a time. How brilliant it was of the supermarket to now make that single person responsible for FOUR checkout systems at once. I've always wondered if the checker on those systems are being paid slightly more, or slightly less, than those on single checkout lines - or if there's a difference in pay at all.

    The day will come, as the technology gets cheaper, that one will walk into a store, get "scanned", dump stuff in a basket, and walk right out - all items scanned and accounted for in one fell swoop, to show up as a withdrawal on your checking, savings, VISA, or what-have-you. Then, as now, your buying habits will be tracked, then the implant in your head that was installed at birth (at your convienence by The State) will tell you the next time you go to the store that your favorite brand of toilet paper is on sale in Aisle 5.

    Consume or Die.

    "Minority Report" will look positively quaint.
     
  8. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    They have a prototype of a self checkout in a Cub Foods here in MN. It’s rather slick and way faster then a typical checkout. The only problem is if you didn't grow up with tech you may be standing there for a few minutes scratching your head while you figure out how the system works. It took me 5 seconds to realize that unlike the normal checkout process I had to swipe my checkcard before I started scanning my goods.
    As for if this is a good method or not. Not sure. I’m sick to death of outsourcing. And automating all these jobs. What the hell are people suppose to do for a living if you get rid of all retail checkout counters? Maybe move to stalking shelves until someone comes up with an automated system for that.
    We better be careful or the only job left for people will be to produce Soylent Green. :p ;)
     
  9. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #9
    I love self checkout, I never have to stand in line at Wal Mart or the grocery store anymore, plus, you don't have to feel embarrassed by the random junk you buy or what the cashier may think when you are buying an economy pack of laxatives, a family pack of toilet paper, and a plunger. ;)
     
  10. SlyHunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    Side affect is that while jobs may be lost the cost of those goods should come down or at least not go up as fast as inflation. So you wouldn't have to make as much money to survive (relative speaking with inflation adjusted taking into account). I recommend to do what I'm doing and use the time you have left to increase your training and widen your job prospects before technology gets rid of your job.

    For me as of October this year copies of electronical copies of legal documents will be considered as legal documents if the sender authenticates the electronical copy. How they authenticate it I don't know. This means that they can send loan applications, cancelled checks, deposits, etc via email or other electronical method. That means I'll be unemployed once they actually install the equipment, it works, and hackers can't break into it for that is what I do for a living. I'm 40 years old and I'm going back to college and I'm not looking forward to it but neither am I looking forward to gettng a job at McDonalds once my job becomes obsolete.
     
  11. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #11
    about 3 years ago, a grocery store near me (athens, GA at the time) had a few self-check lanes. maybe it was an earlier system, but it was way more trouble than it was worth. too glitchy and prone to error, and the person who was manning the lanes was constantly having to fix stuff and reset machines and whatnot.
     
  12. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12

    I use self-checkouts all the time around here.
    They are much faster than some of the VERY slow cashiers.

    Of course, I know a lot of people who have trouble using the self checkouts, and they really hate them.
     
  13. CAM macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lillington, NC
    #13
    I've tried self-checkout twice, once at a Wal Mart and once at a KMart. Neither one worked, and no it wasn't due to user error :p . I'll have to give them a try next time. Maybe they've worked out the kinks since then.
     
  14. kevin49093 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
    LOL

    I collage, my brother actually bought pepto (because of a hangover), a 40 of malt liquor (because of a lost bet the night before), and a plunger (because a girl was comming to dinner that night!). The check out girl looked at hi9m, at the items, and back at him. She asked if he was ok, twice! I think she was really worried!!
     
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #15
    The first time I tried one of these last year, I had a 10 pack of Juicy Fruit packs. I grew up with computers (Apple IIgs when I was 3 or so :D) and I even had a tough time figuring out how to use the bugger. I would have been done faster if I had a normal register to use myself! Either way, these will still be slower than an experienced cashier. Some of them (and sometimes including me ;)) can hit 30 scans per minute, even 40 depending on the store setup.
     
  16. MacFan25 macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    Self Check-out lanes are convenient when lines are long, or you just have several items, but I don't see them really changing the industry, as some people, like the elderly, would much rather just be waited on by a cashier.

    They are pretty cool to use in a geeky sort of way, though. :)
     
  17. evoluzione macrumors 68020

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #17
    i love the selfservice checkouts. they have one at my local Home Depot, which has to be the most ghetto HD out there, and the lines are always ridiculous. i used the self checkout thing and was done in seconds! beats waiting in line for 20 minutes, only to get a very rude and miserable checkout assistant!

    bring 'em on!!! as long as it's an option that is. the majority will not want to use them i'm sure.
     
  18. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #18

    damnit, you beatme to it... it is so much faster than the regular lines, or even the empty "business" lines
     
  19. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #19
    I have a summer job at the Dierberg's grocery store chain in St. Louis, and we have implemented the self-checkout lanes. Being one of the few people that actually understood technology, I got stuck with quite a few shifts there. While it is rather boring, I was able to talk the managers into letting me do small tasks around the area (stock shelves, clean magazine racks, etc.) to help pass the time.

    During my many shifts I took it upon myself to determine the efficiency of the system. Based on averages of the self-checkout usage, and workload of a regular checker, I determined that a set of four of the self-checkout lanes at our were not taking jobs at all. Rather, due the the loss in productivity, have the self-checkout lanes open required 120 more checker hours per week, or THREE full-time positions. Based on the numbers I had, all four lanes running simultaneously worked at about the rate of ONE checker. Certainly, I am not the first to have studied this and certainly store managers look at these studies when considering implementing the system. Stores put these in simply as a convenience to customers as an 'Express' lane.
     
  20. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #20
    At a local grocery store here in Boston, they have 3 self checkout lanes. Not many shoppers use them. One problem is that it's for 10 items or less.
     
  21. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #21
    Having once worked in a retail environment (KMart for two summers) I can tell you that these things are great, for the store, for the checkers, and for the consumer.

    Obviously high volume purchasers are going to be better off with a live person, but if you only have a few items these things are great. Plus it frees up the tellers to proccess those with a cart ful of items faster. The slowest part of checking sometimes is the payment part. Waiting as they write out a check, cashing out their $20, swipping through the credit card. For people with one or two items, the actually checking part is almost nil.

    Plus stores are using these as ways to speed up the lines, not replace checkers. We didn't have less checkers after we got the self-scanners, it was actually pretty much the same.

    So you have less lines, faster checkouts, happier customers, everyone wins. Honestly a happier customer makes your life as a checker soooo much easier.
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    I've used a self-service checkout station at the supermarket and at Home Depot. Both of them worked, but I could see that their software didn't handle cases that were out of the norm. But they will get better as time goes on and I expect we'll all share in some of the cost savings as companies adopt them more and more.
     
  23. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    Aug 20, 2003
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    sitting on your shoulder
    #23
    What store is that?
     
  24. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #24
    I used a self-scan at Home Depot once and don't see how it could possibly work on almost 75% or the item types sold there. It makes far more sense in a grocery store setting.
     

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