Kroger- self checkout modification

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storewanderer
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Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by storewanderer »

I noticed Kroger is installing new self checkouts in some locations to replace more regular checkstands.

These are giant things that take up the space of a regular checkstand where you walk up and there is a scanner then after you scan the item there is a conveyor belt which turns itself on and the item goes down a conveyor belt to the bagging area. I haven't seen this model of self checkout in years- I recall seeing it in some Fresh & Easy Stores as well as some Supervalu Stores years ago but obviously that equipment is all or mostly gone now. Using this machine, really reminded me of Fresh & Easy.

Wal Mart has the opposite model in some stores where you unload your cart onto a conveyor belt then scan it then bag it directly. Most customers I observe at Wal Mart just pull their cart past the conveyor belt down to the scanner and take item from cart-scan item- bag item, and just don't even use the conveyor belt part at all. Again, seems like a waste of space.

This seems like a waste of space. Obviously they want to use these to push large orders through self checkout but it just seems like a waste of space.

Also, Kroger now allows you to scan your own coupons at self checkout then the employee comes and collects them. Similar to Target.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by veteran+ »

storewanderer wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 12:16 am I noticed Kroger is installing new self checkouts in some locations to replace more regular checkstands.

These are giant things that take up the space of a regular checkstand where you walk up and there is a scanner then after you scan the item there is a conveyor belt which turns itself on and the item goes down a conveyor belt to the bagging area. I haven't seen this model of self checkout in years- I recall seeing it in some Fresh & Easy Stores as well as some Supervalu Stores years ago but obviously that equipment is all or mostly gone now. Using this machine, really reminded me of Fresh & Easy.

Wal Mart has the opposite model in some stores where you unload your cart onto a conveyor belt then scan it then bag it directly. Most customers I observe at Wal Mart just pull their cart past the conveyor belt down to the scanner and take item from cart-scan item- bag item, and just don't even use the conveyor belt part at all. Again, seems like a waste of space.

This seems like a waste of space. Obviously they want to use these to push large orders through self checkout but it just seems like a waste of space.

Also, Kroger now allows you to scan your own coupons at self checkout then the employee comes and collects them. Similar to Target.
Yep, I remember those.

They were supposed to be rolled out into the higher volume stores and the few "larger" sized stores.

Total disaster..........the conveyor belt weight sensitivity mechanism was comical.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

A+P had that kind of set up in a store in NJ all the way back in 1999. First (and last) time I ever saw one. This one was interesting because what they did was convert a conventional inline checkout lane; it wasn't off to one side like the self checkouts we've gotten used to over the years. Quite an interesting contraption to look at but hardly functional. If this was an early experiment in how to handle large orders at self checkout it was a failure. So now Kroger is trying out an idea that A+P (who was hardly a trendsetter by then) abandoned years ago. Sounds like they're a day late and a dollar short on this one.
Last edited by TW-Upstate NY on May 4th, 2021, 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by BillyGr »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 9:38 am A+P had that kind of set up in a store in NJ all the way back in 1999. First (and last) time I ever saw one. This one was interesting because what they did was convert a conventional inline checkout lane; it wasn't off to one side like the self checkouts we've gotten used to over the years. Quite an interesting contraption to look at but hardly functional. If this was an early experiment in how to handle large orders at self checkout it was a failure. So now Kroger is trying it out an idea that A+P (who was hardly a trendsetter back in 1999) abandoned years ago. Sounds like they're a day late and a dollar short on this one.
I remember seeing those in an A&P when they were still in MA (outside Springfield), though I think at that point there they had them grouped together at one end like most stores do for self checkouts.

Actually, Stop & Shop has similar ones (or at least did 3-4 years ago when I was last in one) for many of their self checks (even though I tended to use those less in favor of their scan and bag guns which most stores had).

I'd suspect they work best if you have a couple people shopping together, where one can scan and the other can be at the end bagging (much like a cashier and bagger at a regular lane).
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by mjhale »

BillyGr wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 4:49 pm Actually, Stop & Shop has similar ones (or at least did 3-4 years ago when I was last in one) for many of their self checks (even though I tended to use those less in favor of their scan and bag guns which most stores had).

I'd suspect they work best if you have a couple people shopping together, where one can scan and the other can be at the end bagging (much like a cashier and bagger at a regular lane).
Giant-MD installed self-checkout lanes like what is described in this thread in the early 2000s. The major issue with them was that someone's order would bunch up at the end of the conveyor belt and hold everything up when one person finished and another started. Since the control screen and card reader were back at the start of the check out aisle you either paid and then bagged or bagged and then paid. Either way there were holdups in the line if someone tried to check out more than a few items. Also people's orders got mixed together when the next customer started scanning before the last was done bagging. As you say having another person with you who could bag as you scan did speed things along. But then as someone else mentioned the scale integrated into the unit was so sensitive (or clueless) that it would alert needing an attendant to clear the self-checkout leading to more delays. I was so happy when Giant finally switched over to the self-checkouts that don't have the conveyor built in.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by Bagels »

Almost every Meijer I’ve been in has had these types of self checkouts for years. Interestingly, many of the Meijers I’ve been in now require the cashier to scan your coupons. They previously allowed customers to do it, since the early 2000s.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by Super S »

mjhale wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 5:35 pm

Giant-MD installed self-checkout lanes like what is described in this thread in the early 2000s. The major issue with them was that someone's order would bunch up at the end of the conveyor belt and hold everything up when one person finished and another started. Since the control screen and card reader were back at the start of the check out aisle you either paid and then bagged or bagged and then paid. Either way there were holdups in the line if someone tried to check out more than a few items. Also people's orders got mixed together when the next customer started scanning before the last was done bagging. As you say having another person with you who could bag as you scan did speed things along. But then as someone else mentioned the scale integrated into the unit was so sensitive (or clueless) that it would alert needing an attendant to clear the self-checkout leading to more delays. I was so happy when Giant finally switched over to the self-checkouts that don't have the conveyor built in.
Self checkouts miss the mark with conveyor belts. This actually makes them slower. Why unload on to a conveyor belt when you can just scan and bag by pulling the cart closer? This method works best for people like myself who are single and shop alone. Having orders bunch up and mix together is something that happens at WinCo when using regular checkouts, a major reason why I use the self checkouts in the first place.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by veteran+ »

Super S wrote: May 4th, 2021, 9:03 am
mjhale wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 5:35 pm

Giant-MD installed self-checkout lanes like what is described in this thread in the early 2000s. The major issue with them was that someone's order would bunch up at the end of the conveyor belt and hold everything up when one person finished and another started. Since the control screen and card reader were back at the start of the check out aisle you either paid and then bagged or bagged and then paid. Either way there were holdups in the line if someone tried to check out more than a few items. Also people's orders got mixed together when the next customer started scanning before the last was done bagging. As you say having another person with you who could bag as you scan did speed things along. But then as someone else mentioned the scale integrated into the unit was so sensitive (or clueless) that it would alert needing an attendant to clear the self-checkout leading to more delays. I was so happy when Giant finally switched over to the self-checkouts that don't have the conveyor built in.
Self checkouts miss the mark with conveyor belts. This actually makes them slower. Why unload on to a conveyor belt when you can just scan and bag by pulling the cart closer? This method works best for people like myself who are single and shop alone. Having orders bunch up and mix together is something that happens at WinCo when using regular checkouts, a major reason why I use the self checkouts in the first place.
Because the weight of the item is uniquely matched to the specific product (supposedly) and price for security reasons. At least that is how the manufacturer explained it.

So if you place an item on the belt or platform it serves as a scale. If you place a bottle of mayo on the belt and scan a bottle of ketchup you will get an error. This works or not depending on how well it's tweaked and how sensitive it is. Data input comes to play as well (product info and how accurate it is).

Still there are myriad examples where this still does not work 100% of the time.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by storewanderer »

Some retailers disabled the weight sensor on self checkout. I can only wonder how much shrink they have... Wal Mart and Target specifically.

CVS is actually able to go into the admin screen of self checkout and disable the weight sensor- any clerk who can log in to the self checkout can disable the weight sensor on the machine going forward. Unbelievable to me. Then again this is the same chain that leaves the front end completely unattended except for 1 or 2 self checkouts with a bell on the counter to ring for service, so I should probably not be surprised. When you are running stores that operate 14 hours a day with less than 200 hours of hourly labor in front store in a week, I guess you have to cut corners.

As for Kroger I always find it funny when they bring in technology the old Albertsons was using back 15 years ago. Scan bag go, now these giant self checkouts with the belts. I don't know whether to scratch my head or laugh.
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Re: Kroger- self checkout modification

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: May 4th, 2021, 11:07 pm Some retailers disabled the weight sensor on self checkout. I can only wonder how much shrink they have... Wal Mart and Target specifically.

CVS is actually able to go into the admin screen of self checkout and disable the weight sensor- any clerk who can log in to the self checkout can disable the weight sensor on the machine going forward. Unbelievable to me. Then again this is the same chain that leaves the front end completely unattended except for 1 or 2 self checkouts with a bell on the counter to ring for service, so I should probably not be surprised. When you are running stores that operate 14 hours a day with less than 200 hours of hourly labor in front store in a week, I guess you have to cut corners.
It may just be that it's too sensitive - for instance in one CVS (where the bags were stored on the opposite side from the scale), simply taking one small bag and putting it on the scale would cause it to require assistance.

So, if they are trying to keep the clerk stocking, that's going to take them away from that if they have to run up each time to reset it

Used to happen in one of the supermarkets also, if you bought marked down meats, as instead of showing up as a pound at $1.99/lb. (for instance if that was the markdown), it would show as whatever weight at the normal price would make it $1.99 net. Thus the scale thought you were trying to sneak something else in since you put down a package that weighed 1 pound, instead of whatever it showed as (might be well under 1/2 pound if the regular price was $5 or $6 per pound).
Haven't noticed it since they got newer self checks.
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