Express self-check

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "Express self-check", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Express self-check

Somerfield, the UK supermarket chain, recently introduced self-scanning checkout technology for customers at a new store in the centre of Manchester. The U-Scan checkout system – comprised of sophisticated weighing scales, payment slots for cards and cash, and a touch screen – operates like a conventional checkout. But it is the shopper, not the cashier, who scans purchases. At the Manchester store, Somerfield has just one member of staff supervising four checkout tills, said Susan Hooper, the company’s project manager for logistics and business systems.

Hooper said: “U-Scan is specifically for customers who want their own privacy when they shop. It is more personal because no one looks at what they are buying.” U-Scan has so far proved popular with customers in Manchester – 45 per cent of the first day’s customers at its Manchester store opted to use the U-Scan checkout.

“The scales are so accurate that you cannot scan two products without putting the first one in the bag. After a customer scans an item and places it in the bag, the scales cross reference it within a split second to make sure it is the same product. If it is a variable weight item like potatoes, then there is a touch screen for customers to put in the product type.”

Somerfield is now rolling out the U-Scan technology to other stores.

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