Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scan It

When I was younger, I used to think it would be fun to work as a grocery store checkout person. I'm a grocery store dork. I enjoyed the bag your own lines and then, when technology progressed even further, the self checkout lines. It seems that at the Stop and Shop near my parents, they have moved on to the next step in DIY grocery shopping - scanning and bagging as you move about the store.

Remarkably we spent 5-10 minutes discussing this in the car that day before going grocery shopping - talking about how it worked, risks for the store in employing the technology, the honor system, etc. My biggest concern was for the store. What was to stop someone from just picking up a product, bagging it and not paying for it? Like a pack of gum? It's so small that no one would notice and how do they know if you've scanned it? (I would never do it but with shoplifting happening so often in the country, I wouldn't be surprised if people did.) I had read about this technology previously but they talked about weighted carts or something like that, but these were the same old carts. If someone had to go through and check the list against everything in the cart, it might take longer than if you went through a regular checkout. It was an enjoyable discussion.

But there was no way we weren't going to try it out.

The scanners were located in the front of the store. You scan your store discount card and then one of the scanners lights up. It's just like the wedding registry scanners which are so much fun. But here you can't just point and click on everything and fix up the list later, because it's not a wish list, it's real shopping.

The scanner had more than just scanning, it also gave a short list of items on sale that you could flip through:

You can scan items (and remove them if you make a mistake). It also keeps a running total of your bill which is really helpful if you're trying to stick to a budget.

In order to make the scanner work with produce, they added weigh your own stations that printed labels for you to scan:

We saw this at a Wegmans in Jersey last summer and it was super exciting. (I told you I am a grocery store geek. Can't you tell from all the grocery store posts?)

Here's A scanning our asparagus:

And here's me, super giddy over using the fun scanner:

Considering the rough weekend I had in other ways (unexpectedly getting sick), this was a high point of the weekend. It was nice to be excited and happy about something!

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