Waitrose is rolling out self-checkout across its UK branches.
The self-service technology is being provided by retail and banking solutions provider, Wincor Nixdorf.
The agreement will see Wincor Nixdorf providing equipment and services across Waitrose supermarkets and its growing number of convenience branches.
In implementing self-service checkouts, Wincor Nixdorf said Waitrose aims to speed up transaction times, minimise queues, reduce the space taken up by traditional checkouts and, ultimately, improve the overall customer experience.
Waitrose has been trialling Wincor Nixdorf self-service solutions across a number of its shops. Having worked initially to educate both staff and customers about the new technology and encourage usage, the retailer estimates in those shops that have self checkout, at least 20% of transactions are now channelled through the self-checkout terminals, with that figure significantly higher in some city-centre locations.
This has reduced queue times and, as a result, enabled Waitrose employees to focus on interacting with customers and deliver a quality service.
“The results so far have been very encouraging and we are excited at the prospect of delivering this service to more of our customers,” said Graham Heald, director of retail services at Waitrose.
“Excellent customer service is central to Waitrose’s success and transaction speed is a vital part of that, as is choice in the way customers wish to transact. This technology gives people an alternative payment option which is fast, easy-to-use and means their in-store journey from entry to checkout is a smooth one. Our customers expect the highest standards and this is true whether they are talking to a Waitrose Partner or using a self-service checkout. We therefore looked closely at the technology and chose the solution that would deliver the standard of service that we and our customers demand.”
According to the retailer, the self-service implementation is part of its strategy to provide its customers with multi-channel payment options.
Waitrose was one of the first retailers to make handheld scanners available to customers who then pay at the ‘Quick Check’ tills and it is currently exploring new technologies such as contactless payments.
Waitrose said it anticipates further innovation in payments to come as it continually looks for ways to improve the customer experience in its branches.
Ed Brindley, director of marketing at Wincor Nixdorf, said: “We’re delighted Waitrose has chosen to work with us. The Waitrose brand is synonymous with the highest level of customer service and it is a privilege to be part of delivering this. Self-service has become a core part of the shopping experience – to the point where consumers simply expect the option to be there. It is crucial customers are able to shop conveniently, even during busy periods. The extensive trials have proven Waitrose customers appreciate the advantages that self-service checkouts bring, and we are looking forward to helping Waitrose deliver these same advantages to its customers nationwide.”