[Today's Guest Post is about a topic that will probably get the attention of anyone that has stood in a long, long, long line at Costco and thought there should be a quicker way to check out. I miss the self scanning lanes that we had at our US Costco in Austin, but for some reason they don't have them here even though a lot of other stores have them around us. In any case, this takes the self scanner concept a little step further and I love it! And I definitely want them at my store too!]
I often pop into Costco for just a few items, so I was very pleased my local Costco had several self-checkout lines. Unfortunately, last September they went away after Labor Day weekend, and I was told by the customer service employees that the self-checkout wasn’t any faster than the regular checkout. Now that they’ve been gone for half a year, I disagree. Perhaps on a per-customer basis it averages out, but now when I have two items I’m still waiting for the family doing their monthly purchase and I get impatient.
At one point, I went to a different location in Chandler (the location at 595 S Galleria Way) and they had something fascinating – a handheld scanner similar to those given out for wedding/baby registry accounts. When I walked in, there was a wall of them, and I just scanned my membership card and one of the units was unlocked and released to me. There was a screen that looped a tutorial that I watched for a minute, and I was on my way.
Each cart has a holster for it, and when you place items in your cart you scan the UPC and indicate the quantity. Changing your mind requires pressing the minus button and rescanning the item. When you get to the checkout computer, an employee takes your handheld scanner unit, does a cursory look at your basket, and you review your order on a screen and make your payment.
It was not without hiccups, but I attribute them to user error. I wish my Costco store would get these in their location, or create a 15-item-or-less line for people like myself. Unfortunately, when I called the Costco store in Chandler, they said that they are the only location in the Phoenix metro area that have them with no current plans to expand while they ‘work the kinks out’.