Would you ‘Scan It?’

A quick viewing of this video on WSB made me a little jealous this morning.

The video depicts a barcode scanner gun being used at Stop & Shop, a northeastern grocery chain, to determine prices on goods in the store for customers. Additionally, the scanner finds coupons available for each product. Customers can actually bag their own groceries as they walk through the store, hand the scanner and store card to the cashier and checkout — without having to unload their groceries from the cart.

This appeals to me because I like to be efficient in the grocery store, but I have some questions:

  • The video says people end up spending 10 percent more, so are the coupons really worth it?
  • If you have manufacturer’s coupons, can you scan those at the register as well?
  • Do people actually spend less time in the store or more?

It was only a matter of time before self-checkout spread to most grocers in the South, so I wonder if this technology will make its way toward us, too.

Would you use a program like Scan It if it Atlanta grocers offered it? Would the time saved in the checkout line be worth it?

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter


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15 comments Add your comment


June 27th, 2011
1:39 pm

I’d probably use it for the convenience of bagging my groceries they way I want them, vs. whatever way they toss them in the bags at checkout. I stick to my list, so doubt I would spend more than usual. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to show up here. I’d be more concerned that it would have more people trying to shoplift.


June 27th, 2011
1:58 pm

These grocery stores are becoming more and more trusting of their customers…pretty soon, I guess they will be giving customers keys to the building and the alarm code to get in too.

Barbara @ Atlanta's Frugal Mom

June 27th, 2011
2:36 pm

I would likely utilize this for times when I wish to zip in and out, like for five items or less. However, I think you must show great discipline and restraint to stick to your list.

On the other hand, I agree with Billy. Where’s the security measures? Whenever you have a system like this, you will always have weasels who will try to take advantage of it. I’d like to hear mire about how stores plan to safeguard themselves against theft through such a system. After all, in the long run, shoplifters pass the penalty on to ALL customers in the end.


June 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Interesting idea, but just like the self check out lines, what about the clogged up grocery isles from the folks blocking the way because they can’t figure out how to use the scanner!!! Some stores you can barely get two buggies to fit to pass each other, so I really don’t need to have to stand around and wait for people to move out of the way!!


June 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

Yes, I’d use this. Seems like a great way to get right prices and get through store quickly.

I agree w/security concerns. I don’t want to pay more due to extra theft. Seems like there should be a way to weight check the bag at exit (similar to the self check out) Otherwise you may need a more advanced bar code (rfid?) that can tell that it wasn’t scanned on that shopper card receipt.


June 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

such a vicious cycle. i was low on cash once and shoplifted some beef jerky a couple of times from my local kroger – to cover their loss, Kroger raised the prices on beef jerky. Which of course provided an even greater incentive for me to shoplift, and then they raised the price yet again. So now even if I want to go back to purchasing beef jerky – i can’t. The price is so high i just have to shoplift it.


June 27th, 2011
4:59 pm

I’d definately use that.


June 27th, 2011
5:00 pm

Be nice to know how much I owe as I go, so often I get to the register and that price keeps going up and up, and I just want to put stuff back.


June 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

I actually have used this (on a visit to Connecticut) and it was fantastic. Gave me coupons and told me about sales, made the trip go quickly, and was kind of fun. I’d love to see it here! (I don’t know the answers to your questions though – although I’m pretty sure you can use paper coupons with it somehow.)

[...] Also: Would you use Scan It? [...]


June 28th, 2011
9:27 am

This would make using your own bags easier. Try using your own bag as the self-scan at Kroger and you must wait 10 minutes while somebody has to clear the system because it thinks you’ve put an item on the carousel without scanning. Completely negates the reason for using both the self-scan or reusable bags.


June 28th, 2011
10:25 am

One huge failure of the self check outs is the ’savings’ that companies think they get from cashier hours. “I can put in 4 self checkouts and eliminate at least 8 cashiers. (4 cashiers per two 8 hour shifts)”. Self check outs were to be designed to filter those shopping for 1 to a few or more items. Not their weekly, full cart customer. But when locations do not limit the number of items at a self check out (like a certain Wal-Mart), they end up causing frustration. 2 weeks ago I went into a Wal-Mart and bought a loaf of bread and laundry soap. It took me over 15 minutes to check out. Why? 3 of the 8 self checkouts were down and the 5 open were being used by people checking out 1 to 2 (I kid you not) full buggies of groceries. They had only 4 other registers open. Their 15 or less item lanes were 5-8 people deep on the two that were open. Home Depot has tried this. In my opinon failed. Nothing seems more impersonal than having a computer thanking you for shopping at their store. As for this check out while shopping? To much to think about. I change my mind about 5-7 times on items while shopping. And I’m a guy. Who knows how many times women will change their mind while doing this. ;o)


June 28th, 2011
11:32 am

Yes, I would use the technology if it elimated LaTisha giving me attitude at the checkout.

Smart Granny

June 28th, 2011
11:35 am

What’s to keep people from bagging items without scanning them? I mean, someone could, realistically, scan only one out of every 5 items. I agree that they need to come up with a way to weigh the bags as you leave the store (sort of like Wal-Mart’s receipt checkers that check you on the way out), and if your weight exceeds what you scanned, uh-oh!

Ole Guy

June 28th, 2011
6:59 pm

The self-scan phenomena seems to be taking hold of the retail food industry in a big way. Many folks feel that they are saving time and the inconvenience of standing in the checkout line…and this, in-and-of itself, may hold some merit.

Now (paraphrasing Colonel jessup, the crazy Col in Tom Cruise’s “A Few Good Men”), I’m an educated guy, but I can’t relate to the mysteries of retail management. However, I suspect the very nature of the u-scan movement only emboldens retail management to eliminate that unit of labor, the cashier, as no longer required in the face of technology. Just where does this movement stop? Allowed to progress, unfettered by that pesky human employee, we can envision an economy of the future where the human consumer never has to even look upon that unit of labor known as the cashier, the customer service rep, or whatever the imagination may conjur up. We seem to want to wander into the twilight zone of technology where the human component is all but deemed entirely unnecessary…and why? Because we don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to stand in line.

Before heading for that self-scan counter, think where it all may lead…