This is something new rolling out to Kroger Groceries, at least it's new in my area. They only have two stores in the city with this, and my normal Kroger is not one. When I walked into the store I noticed some weird device added to all of the carts. I thought it was some sort of cup holder that got squished and didn't think twice about it till I went through the main door.
I saw this huge display with nifty electronic type things. I was intrigued but it took me awhile to understand what it was. The concept is that as you pick out your groceries, you scan them and put them directly into your bag. There is no standing in line to check out. And since I love techy things, I thought I would give it a try. It didn't hurt that they were offering $5 off your bill by doing it.
That weird thing on the cart that I thought was a crushed cup holder? It's to hold the scanner. Though I did find it fell out of that holder a couple times.
Beyond the confusion of a different store layout, I kept putting things in my bag and forgetting that I had to scan it. I untimely did remember to scan everything that was in my bag, but I can totally see someone accidentally or on purpose putting something in their bag and not scanning it.
I also had a hard time figuring out the scanner. I kept trying to use it like a camera on a cellphone, but the scanner is actually at the tip and you had to point it like a phaser from Star Trek.
I also found it tricky to get things in the bag without putting light things on the bottom just to squish them with heavier items on top. I had to reorganize my bags a couple times to make sure that didn't happen.
I did eventually get the hang of it. In fact it started to be fun. Then I got to the produce section. How do I scan something that needs to be weighed? Well after wandering around the produce section awhile I finally figured it out. You have to scan the label on the fruit/vegetable and then take it to the scale. You then scan the barcode on the scale and the scanner tells you to put the fruit/vegetable on the scale and voilà, you are done and can put them in your bag. In fact you can go around and pick up all your fruits and vegetables and go to the scale only once.
Another tricky part was that I scanned something and put it in my bag and found something at a cheaper price and I wasn't sure how to "return" it. I found that there was a button on the scanner to remove item. You pressed that and scanned the item and it was taken off your tally.
After I wandered around probably longer than I needed to, I was ready to check out and pay. Now how do I do that? I slowly headed down the checkout lanes and a very nice lady standing in the self-checkout area asked if I was ready to pay for my Scan, Bag, and Go order. Yes, please! All I had to do was scan the barcode below the monitor and everything was done and it was ready for me to pay. Nice!
I did find it useful that it kept a rolling total of what I owed. I wish I had something like that when I was in college and was on a tight budget. The one thing I didn't like was that it didn't show discounted price. If I had a digital coupon or if it was part of the "Buy 5 Mix and Match Items, Save $5", it would show the full price. When you check out, you do see the discounts at that point, but it would have been nice for it to tell me how many of these mix and match items I had to help me decide if I had to buy one more to get my discount.
I seemed to be on that side of town quite a bit for a couple of weeks and ended up going into that Kroger again. When I waked in, someone was standing by the display asking if people wanted to try. Yes, please. I again would get $5 off my purchase as well as she gave me a reusable bag. Nice! While walking around I didn't really see anyone else using the Scan, Bag, and Go system. I do understand the concern over it, but people were the same way with the self-checkout and now those lines seem to be longer than ones with real people.
I did find the second time doing it much easier and really wished they had this in my Kroger near my house. I did learn that the whole process is went more smoothly when you organize your bags in your cart so that you can put different items in different bags. That way I was able to keep my cold items in one, heavy items in another, and the lighter items together.
Have you tried the Scan, Bag, and Go system at Kroger? If so, what did you think? If not, would you try it?
I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.