ST. LOUIS -- In an effort to improve front-end operations efficiency as well as provide the technology basis for a frequent-shopper program, Food Giant Supermarkets here recently purchased new point-of-sale technology for several of its supermarkets in Western Kentucky.
The system will feature new scanning software specifically designed for supermarket applications, as well as provide the retailer with a year-2000-compliant POS system.
Food Giant plans to implement the new front-end technology in 18 supermarkets at a total of 108 checkout lanes. Five supermarkets have received the new POS units so far. "One of the main reasons for the new system is to be able to do frequent-shopper programs," said Richard Varnon, retail service marketing manager for Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City. Fleming is Food Giant's wholesaler and the retail technology services provider for many of its stores.
One of the biggest paybacks from the new system should be in the form of higher customer-service levels, according to Varnon.
The technology's reporting capabilities will allow the retailer to zero in on any potential cashier efficiency problems, for example, without a manager needing to go over the previous night's transaction log. "It's more efficient," he said.
In addition, "the [item] rings per minute should go up tremendously," Varnon told SN, noting that cashiers could increase their throughput levels by as much as eight to 10 product scans per minute with the new POS technology.
The software for the new POS system also allows the retailer to print bar codes at the point of sale, enabling cashiers to provide customers with coupons for their next trip to the store. If a retailer is "pushing Pepsi," for example, customers who bought Coke would receive a bar-coded coupon for a discount on Pepsi that could be used on their next trip to the store.
The new scanning software also prints out the customer's receipt at the end of the checkout process rather than during the transaction, which eliminates multiple receipts in the case of a void. "It keeps the receipt clean," Varnon said.
In addition, the bar-coded receipt can itself be scanned at any POS station, for shoppers who forget their cash and need to return to pay for their orders. The customer's order will show up on the screen without the need to rescan each item, he said.
The new POS system is from CRI Bristol, a subsidiary of Bristol Retail Solutions, Newport Beach, Calif.