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Kroger’s streamlined checkout process to be introduced in Ohio

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate station on Monday featured Kroger’s Scan-Bag-Go system, a handheld device that customers use to scan bar codes as they shop. The device keeps a running tally of the purchase, and reduces the checkout process to a matter of seconds.

Kroger is testing the system at its Cold Spring, Ky. location. Later this week, the system is going into its Loveland, Ohio store, at the Kroger on Loveland-Madeira Road, ABC reported. 

ABC also noted that East Coast chains Stop and Shop and Giant Food are testing a similar system called "Scan It" in some stores. They plan to roll that out into more stores soon.

For the full story, click here.
 

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ShopperTrak outlines days retailers should expect holiday sales boost this season

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — The week before Christmas will be especially important for retailers looking to come out on top this holiday season, according to new ShopperTrak research released Tuesday.

Five of the top sales and foot traffic days will occur between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24, according to ShopperTrak, which noted in a recent report that holiday sales are projected to increase this year despite a drop in foot traffic.

“Since Christmas falls on different calendar days each year, the shift impacts which days are the busiest. Some change in ranking or drop off completely,” ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin said. “Retailers can’t assume historical patterns will completely repeat themselves, and only by tracking in-store traffic can they understand the trends and prepare to capture business this holiday season.”

Prior to Christmas, however, ShopperTrak said it expects Black Friday (Friday, Nov. 25) to remain the top performing sales and foot traffic day for the eighth year in a row, followed by Super Saturday on Dec. 17. In 2010, Black Friday showed an increase in both sales and foot traffic over 2009, with foot traffic rising 2.2% and sales rising 0.3%, representing nearly $10.7 billion in consumer spending and the largest dollar amount ever spent on the day.

ShopperTake also said that Black Saturday, the day after Black Friday, typically presents a decline in sales from the previous day; however, the day still remains one of the season’s top performers. ShopperTrak said expects Black Saturday to rank sixth in both sales and foot traffic.

“Annually, Black Friday weekend’s strong start is one bookend to the season and the week leading into Christmas is the other,” Martin said. “Successful retailers will prepare for these critical top ten days, track their traffic internally and make adjustments to capitalize on shopper opportunities walking through their doors.”

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Online, mobile shopping to see growth this holiday season, PriceGrabber finds

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — In its latest winter holiday shopping survey, PriceGrabber said almost all shoppers plan on shopping online, while just nearly one-half of consumers expressed intentions to shop at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Based on responses 2,322 U.S. online shopping consumers, PriceGrabber said that 90% indicated they will shop online from a computer — up 1% from last year — and 13% will shop online via mobile phone or device — compared with 9% in 2010 — while 48% said they will shop in brick-and-mortar stores this year, down from 65% in 2010.

When it comes to where holiday purchases will be made, the average consumer will make almost two-thirds (63%) of purchases online, followed by 33% at brick-and-mortar stores and 4% from a mobile phone. In 2010, 57% said they would make purchases online, followed by 40% at brick-and-mortar stores and 3% via mobile phone or device.

Among respondents using a mobile device to holiday shop this year, PriceGrabber found that men and women differ: 77% of men planned to check prices online before making an offline purchase, compared with 71% of women. Additional findings included:

  • When asked where they would shop via mobile device, 77% of men said they will shop from home, compared with 82% of women;

  • 20% of women said they will shop while standing in line, compared with 16% of men;

  • 44% of men said they will shop from work, versus 39% of women; and

  • 25% of men said they will shop via mobile device from a brick-and-mortar store, compared with 18% of women.

“We aren’t at all surprised to see online shopping make an even bigger splash in 2011 than it did in 2010,” PriceGrabber general manager Graham Jones said. “With the ability to monitor prices at one’s fingertips and to shop around the clock, today’s busy and money-conscious consumer is looking to online and mobile shopping as go-to options for finding the best deals during a frenetic period such as the winter holiday season.”

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