RIS Exclusive: Albertsons Talks About Its New Checkout Experience

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman
“We want to give our customers as many options as possible,” Rucha Nanavati, GVP of Information Technology for Albertsons Companies, tells RIS.

Grocery store operator Albertsons Cos. is modernizing its retail tech to provide fast and convenient in-store checkout experiences for its nationwide customers. The retailer, which operates stores under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, and Acme, was looking for a solution to help shoppers pay for groceries as quickly as possible and spend more time browsing the store.

“We want to give our customers as many options as possible,” Rucha Nanavati, GVP of Information Technology for Albertsons Cos., tells RIS. There are many studies that show consumers want to have options when they shop. If they have a small basket of items, they’d rather get out quickly. We’re allowing them to get out as quickly as possible with the fewest number of interventions.”

To do this, the grocery retailer is implementing Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions’ self-checkout systems. By leveraging Toshiba’s focus on front-end store optimization, Albertsons expects checkout times to speed up – from wait time in line to payment – to improve operational throughput and reduce shopper interventions, with the ultimate goal of improving the customer’s grocery store experience.

We want shoppers to spend more time shopping and discovering new products than standing in line at checkout,” explains Nanavati. “Self-checkout adds to our capacity to check customers out quickly. We’re piloting mobile point of sale (POS) technology so at busy times, we can scan the items and take payment using a handheld mobile device. We are also piloting line-busting, where we can scan the items customers want to buy, and when the customer reaches the POS, they can pay there. “ 

Albertsons Cos. currently features Toshiba’s System 6 self-service solutions across the Jewel, ACME, Shaw’s, Safeway, Carrs, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Vons banners with plans to deploy the all-new System 7 later this calendar year.

“System 6 is a traditional full-service self-checkout solution where customers can scan and weigh items and complete payment themselves,” explains Nanavati. “System 7 is the next version of full-service checkout system. It has consolidated touchpoints for easier navigation. It uses guidance lighting, which puts a light around the area that we want the customer to look at. For instance, if we want you to take your receipt, the area around the receipt distribution will light up. System 7 also has enhanced UX and best-in-class audio. It also has a smaller footprint.”

Additionally, Albertsons Cos. plans to deploy the TCx Elevate Mobile Operations Manager application to enable store associates to clear interventions, perform overrides, and scan items on the bottom of the basket directly from their mobile device. This will support associates to better serve shoppers at both self-checkout and traditional front-end lanes.  

“We are empowering our consumers to curate their in-store shopping experiences based on their needs and desires,” says Anuj Dhanda, EVP and CIO at Albertsons Cos. “Our partnership is resulting in a smoother experience for our shoppers using self-checkout by reducing the interventions they experience.”

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