Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun at the Supermarket

Today I walked into the Stop and Shop in Brighton, MA, where they have put in a whole human-free interaction system. Upon entering the store, you get a scanner and bags. As you shop, you scan and bag, scan and bag. Fruit and veg is weighed on a scale, stickers and UPC codes are produced, and you scan and bag it. Everything is scan-and-bag. At the end, you scan your scanner at the self-checkout, swipe your credit card, and off you go. 

It was so fun! It was like a wedding registry, only it's yours to take home! And the best part is - it's the supermarket. You can have whatever you want.  Like a watermelon. Or roast beef. I love roast beef. The deli counter is also automated, but I would never opt to miss the cocktail-style show that the deli guys put on. 

Back in the day, tech pundits spoke of RFID tags and insta-scanning of an entire shopping cart with a single swipe of a wand. And then we postulated when bananas would come with their own RFID tags. It was all to speed up the shopping process. There is a delicious irony that 10 years later, the shopping process has been blissfully simplified without any of that newfangled technology. Just scanner guns and good old fashioned upc codes. 

I absolutely loved how single-step the whole thing was. Is this the crazy Boston test store - or is this available elsewhere as well?

1 comment:

SuperBunny said...

I've seen it at the Waitrose supermarket in the UK, but never before in the United States.