CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here has said that it has chosen St. Louis-based Source Interlink to manufacture new front-end checkout fixtures for its U-Scan self-checkout lanes.
Kroger has embarked on an aggressive rollout of the U-Scan self-checkouts made by Optimal Robotics, Montreal. In May, Kroger said it installed the 5,000th U-Scan unit, in its South Garden City, S.C., store.
Kroger, which already had U-Scan in 600 stores, said it expected to put in another 300 by the end of the year. Kroger, the nation's second-largest supermarket operator, has 2,359 stores.
Kroger gave Source Interlink the contract to make new front-end display fixtures to integrate with the U-Scan system following a 12-month pilot period.
Source will provide Kroger with custom units designed to market products that faced elimination because of the space requirements of the U-Scan POS systems.
"We made it our business to develop the necessary designs that would complement the U-Scan registers," said Jim Gillis, chief operating officer, Source Interlink.
"Self-checkout systems have been very popular with our customers," said Gary Rhodes, spokesman for Kroger.
"Over the course of six years, self-checkout has moved from a novelty to a necessity in grocery retail," Rhodes added.