It’s not just tech giants like Amazon or corporate behemoths like Walmart that are hoping to reduce the need for checkout lines. Kroger is expanding its Scan, Bag, Go self-checkout technology from a handful of stores in the Cincinnati area (which have been testing it for 5 years) to 400 stores in 2018. The system is mostly similar to Walmart’s approach: you scan items as you add them to your cart throughout the store, letting you breeze through the self-checkout terminal once you’ve paid through your goods (in this case, at the terminal itself). It’s not certain which stores will receive the tech, but an announcement is expected in early 2018.
It’s no secret as to why chains like Kroger are expanding upgraded self-checkout tech after being content to test it in a limited fashion for years. The desire to cut costs (and unfortunately, jobs) helps, but this is also a counter to Amazon’s growing presence in the grocery world, especially now that it owns Whole Foods. If established chains don’t make it easier to skip the lines, there’s a real chance that Amazon will lure those customers away with promises of scrapping lines, checkouts and in some cases the need to enter the store.