Has Tesco Figured Out How To Make All-Self-Checkout Work?

Tesco's experiment with an all-self-checkout store in the U.S. is delivering surprisingly favorable customer satisfaction stats. Internal Tesco customer surveys for its Fresh & Easy stores are finding some 90 percent of its customers saying they were either "satisfied or very satisfied" with the checkout experience while another 27 percent say that "it doesn't matter" what format the checkouts take, according to this story in The Retail Bulletin. The story said Tesco's survey showed that only 13 percent of respondents prefer a conventional staffed checkout.

"Helping the Fresh & Easy situation is the fact that bananas are the only product available loose (because they are too variable in size and react badly to shrink-wrapping) whereas everything else is packaged and barcoded, thereby reducing the potential for problems at checkout and for the intervention of staff," the story said. "This reduction in the need for staff assistance has been achieved through the ongoing development of self-service technology with (Tesco) citing the introduction of more advanced barcode look-up tables that are indexed on the most popular products sold in each store and improved standard deviation on the weight measured versus the weight expected of items."