Fujitsu widens market for self-checkout with new compact model


Fujitsu claims to be bringing self-checkout technology to a wider retail audience with the launch of its U-Scan Compact self-checkout.

According to the company, the self-checkout unit has a smaller footprint, offers flexible transaction options and a build to order design. 

Fujitsu said this means the U-Scan Compact system is the first self-checkout system to meet the needs of retailers in a variety of channels beyond grocery and DIY; including pharmacies, convenience stores, category-specific stores, and specialty stores. 

The solution also provides queue management, automated cash handling, and customised options to encourage impulse buying, said the company.

The new Fujitsu U-Scan Compact system is on display at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show in New York, 16-17 January 2012.

“While the first generation of self-checkout systems paved the way for the future, their size and design limitations have prevented many retailers from adopting them,” said Andy Taylor, director for retail, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. 

“The U-Scan Compact system changes all that. Any retailer can now order a self-checkout solution that fits comfortably into their unique retail environment, while also offering payment and assistance options to meet the specific style and temperament of their clientele. Flexible and adaptable, the U-Scan Compact system will meet the evolving needs of retailers and shoppers for many years to come.”

Benefits summary

According to Fujitsu, the U-Scan Compact system can be designed to fit different retailing environments. Key benefits include:

· Compact size – a smaller, in-counter design allows for ease of installation – dimensions and sizes of the U-Scan Compact system are similar to legacy POS gear

· Modular design – a modular design allows retailers to easily add or subtract components, even from one store to another

·  Impulse buying – the U-Scan Compact system is said to be the first self-checkout system designed with integrated space allocation for impulse items and magazines, giving retailers the opportunity to encourage impulse buying during self-checkout

According to Fujitsu, the U-Scan Compact system has the flexibility to meet the unique needs of target customers:

· Flexible service models – the U-Scan Compact system allows for any style of service, for any consumer, at any time. Self-service provides for full independence. Full-service provides for maximum assistance. Modified service enables shoppers to start with self-service but allows a sales assistant to step in at any time

· Automated cash handling – while supporting the use of a traditional till, the U-Scan Compact system is designed to allow for fully automated, secure cash handling, providing greater flexibility for shoppers

· Queue management – using lane lighting tied to the U-Scan operating system, consumers are alerted to the next available lane, speeding customers through checkout and eliminating the frustration of getting stuck behind a slow self-checkout user

Fujitsu has also announced it will be offering a solution for managing gift card and other stored value cards via the cloud called ValueCENTER. 

By migrating in-house gift card management operations to the cloud, retailers can reduce hardware and software costs, shrink their IT footprint, shift a significant capital cost to a more predictable, subscription-based operational cost, and more easily comply with different data security and privacy regulations around the world, said Fujitsu.