First, there was Amazon Go, then Walmart began their experiment with the cashierless checkout. Now Kroger is the latest grocery chain aiming to do away with checkout lines. They’re expanding their seamless self-scanning checkout to hundreds of locations.
Kroger has been testing their Scan, Bag, Go self-checkout technology in a few stores in the Cincinnati area for the last five years. Now they’ll be rolling it out to over 400 stores this year. Shoppers can scan the barcodes of items they wish to purchase using a handheld scanner, provided by Kroger, letting you walk through the checkout once you’ve paid for your order.
The expansion comes amid Kroger’s broader “Restock Kroger” effort, which also includes more personalization, more channels for discovery (including its “Clicklist” online order service), focus on the grocery chain’s private label brands and a commitment to price competition.
Grocery chains like Kroger are under intense pressure with already razor thin margins, and with competition from Amazon, they’ll need whatever help they can get to help cut costs. Unfortunately, those cost-saving measures will ultimately result in the loss of jobs. But being a first mover in the seamless checkout experience will give them a much-needed advantage as mom moves further into the grocery space.