Meijer Chain Toying With SmartCarts

The 176-store grocery Meijer chain is testing RFID-based smartcarts in two stores near Detroit, trying to learn how it takes for customers to complete a shopping trip.

A Detroit News story reports that the retailer also wants to know if carts are in one of four locations: in the corral, in the shopping area, near checkout or in the parking lot. The chain, which operates in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, wants to see if the data will be reliable and will allow managers to juggle cashiers to keep lines to fewer than seven customers. Initial plans are to not track customers as they move throughout the store, but the AeroScout smartcarts are able to do that.

The paper said Meijer is also preparing to do in-store Wi_Fi Internet access and self-checkout lane trials.