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IHL Consulting Group has published a new study predicting that self-checkout sales in all formats – including supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers, and home improvement stores – will reach $70 billion this year and surge to $336 billion by 2007. Self-checkout represented just $42 billion in sales last year.

The growth, the company says, is coming as consumers use the self-checkout aisles with greater frequency and more of the aisles are installed.
KC's View:
While we remain steadfast in our belief that self-checkout done badly can result in a disconnect between the shopper and shopkeeper by eliminating the one point of human contact, we were impressed last week by the approach being taken at Food Lion’s new Bloom store in Charlotte, NC.

Not only has the company made an impressive investment in self-checkout technology, but it also is investing in hiring and training procedures that heighten the importance of the people working in the store. Attitude will be the store’s primary advantage, according to management – and it seems to be putting its money where it priorities are.