NEW YORK — Kroger Co., Cincinnati, has developed a new checkout technology that was on display this month at the booth of Fujitsu America at the National Retail Federation's 100th Annual Convention here.
Kroger has been testing two units of the self-checkout “tunnel” system, which it developed with Northrop Grumman Corp.'s business unit, Adaptive Optics Associates, in a store in Hebron, Ky., since last summer. The retailer is in discussions with Fujitsu to commercialize the technology, called the Advantage Checkout system, for use in Kroger stores and to bring the solution to the general market.
Shoppers place products in a tunnel containing a dozen cameras that read bar codes from any direction, Wesley Bates, Fujitsu public relations manager, told SN. The belt moves products through the tunnel at 80 feet per minute, compared to 30 feet per minute for a conventional checkout, he said.
Benefits of the system, according to Fujitsu, include: reduced checkout time; product identification rates of 98%; the ability to manage both exceptions and restricted items while reducing shrink; and improved data integrity. The system also differentiates among stacked items, “even if bar codes are hidden,” said Fujitsu.