Tesco works to make self-checkout work better

Published on: 2015-02-05

As this article in the Retail Bulletin notes:
As many as 90 per cent of [Tesco's Fresh & Easy chain's] customers indicated that they were either 'satisfied or very satisfied' with the checkout experience, and in a separate independent survey some 60 per cent of shoppers found the arrangement 'favourable' while another 27 per cent stated that 'it doesn't matter' what format the checkouts take. A lesser 13 per cent stated that they would prefer a conventional staffed checkout.

These findings support the argument from self-checkout manufacturer NCR that such equipment is finding increasing favour among both retailers and consumers. Speaking to the Retail Bulletin Mike Webster, chief of strategy and communications officer at NCR, says that at Fresh & Easy it is possible to have every lane at every store open at all times of the day.

Our take:

There are always at least a few potential problems when "research" is conducted either by or on behalf of the manufacturer or provider of the product or service being studied. While there have been many studies, particularly in the recent past, that have noted that self-checkout systems continue to gain favor with an increasingly large array of customers, lots of these have only polled people who have actually used the systems to begin with (and are thus more likely to have some penchant to use such systems). Still, Tesco studied American shopping patterns extensively before taking its f irst steps in the US, so it's very likely that they've done much more research on the use of self-checkout lanes by US shoppers than any of their major competitors, including both big-box guys like Wal-Mart and mass grocers like Albertson's.

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