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Business Insider reports that Kroger has confirmed its commitment to rolling out its Scan, Bag, Go technology - which “will enable shoppers to scan and pay for their items without checkout lanes, registers, or cashiers” - to 400 stores in 2008.

Here’s how the story describes the technology:

“Shoppers scan the barcodes of items they wish to purchase using a handheld scanner, provided by Kroger, or the chain's "Scan, Bag, Go" app on any smartphone.

“The technology will keep a running tab of shoppers' total order and offer applicable coupons. It will also eventually alert customers when they walk past an item on their shopping list.

“When customers are finished shopping, they can visit a self-checkout register to pay for their order. Soon, shoppers will be able to skip that step and provide payment through the app instead, the company said. That means they won't have to stand in line or visit a register at any point during their shopping trip.”

Kroger’s technology is seen as being thematically similar to efforts by Amazon and Walmart to develop a more frictionless bricks-and-mortar shopping experience that dispenses with checkout lanes.
KC's View:
The first time we mentioned Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go initiative on MNB was in April 2013, so it has taken a long time for the retailer to get it to where a rollout was feasible.

The broader message here is that retailers increasingly are taking seriously the challenge of figuring out ways to dispense with what pretty much everyone agrees is the worst part of any food shopping trip. This effort has taken a lot of forms. Some retailers moved the checkouts so that they couldn’t be seen from the entrance; after all, why remind people when they walk in the building of how badly their trip was going to end? Many decided that the real problem was mediocre checkout personnel, so rather than getting better people or training existing personnel, they offered self-checkout.

Not everybody is going to be able to afford checkout-free systems, at least not in the immediate future. It’ll be the province of big companies like Walmart, Amazon and Kroger. But the companies that cannot have to figure out ways to turn the checkout experience into something positive, that is part of an overall improved customer experience.