Finnish stores Alepa and Sale now offer self-checkout option for busy customers

Net 2018,  2018-06-04

Having been the trailblazer of store self-services systems in Finland, the S Group is now, besides S-markets and Prisma hypermarkets, bringing store self-services to convenience stores, too.

Self-checkout offers an alternative to the traditional cashier-staffed checkout and it reduces the queuing time. Here, the customer collects the products into the basket as usual but also scans the EAN codes on the items and takes care of the paying using a card at a self-checkout terminal.

The first self-checkout terminals were opened for customers at S-market Vallila in Helsinki in June 2012. Since then, the solution has been expanded to other S-markets and Prisma hypermarkets.

Lately the self-checkout option has been made available to the customers of small stores as well. In addition to traditional checkout lanes, many Alepa and Sale convenience stores have deployed brand new Fujitsu Impulse self-checkout terminals.

Finnish stores Alepa ja Sale now offer self-checkout option for busy customers

Add-on service

The first MiniSCO self-checkout machines arrived at S-market Vallila as early as 2012. The new, smaller Impulse self-checkout machines were installed at Alepa Jätkäsaari in Helsinki in August last year. They were put to actual use after the turn of the year, and since then, they have been adopted to an increasing extent. Besides Helsinki, currently there are self-checkout machines in Turku, Jyväskylä and Porvoo.

”The number of users of self-checkout machines is steadily growing and we are getting a lot of positive feedback. When customers started asking for the self-checkout option also at convenience stores, we – encouraged by the positive experiences – decided to give it a go. At small but popular stores, self-checkout machines serve as the levelers during peak hours, expediting the store visit for busy customers during lunch time,” says Veera Vuorinen, Vice President, Space Management and Store Operations Development at SOK.

Owing to positive customer feedback, self-checkout has been widely adopted at S Group stores over the last months. Utilizing commonly used techniques, such as touch screen menus and help texts, self-checkout is intuitive to use, and audio guidance is also available in different languages.

The self-checkout solution was delivered by Fujitsu Finland Oy, who is also the supplier of point-of-sales systems for S Group’s grocery stores.

Customers of all ages use self-checkout

Since the adoption of the self-checkout system in 2012, customer volumes have steadily grown at S grocery stores, and using them has for may a customer become an every-day thing. There are approximately one million customer visits every month.

”Users of self-checkout can be found in every customer groups. For example, age or gender does not seem to matter when it comes to willingness to use it. Self-checkout points have not reduced the need for traditional cashier service or personnel workload, nor have there been any changes in the number of store personnel due to self-checkout systems,” says Veera Vuorinen.

”Finland has been fertile ground for developing self-checkout solutions. The Finnish consumer is accustomed to using card and mobile payment systems. Since cash is hardly ever used, specific equipment for handling it are not needed in the checkout solutions either. Mobile payment, which is continuously gaining ground, makes purchasing even easier,” says Sales Director Sami Mäki-Petäys of Fujitsu.

The quote in this story are from S Group’s publication Patarumpu 24.8.2017

Photo: Lari Lappalainen
Translation: Päivi Vuoriaro

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Published in the Net Magazine 2018,  2018-06-04

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