Kroger Jumps Ahead of Walmart and Amazon With Cashier-Free Stores in 2018

Kroger beats Walmart and Amazon to the cashier-free punch line with the decision to bring a new service in 2018 that excludes checkout lanes, registers, or cashiers.

How does it work? Shopper’s simply scan the barcodes of items they wish to purchase using a handheld scanner, provided by Kroger, or the chain’s “Scan, Bag, Go” app on any smartphone. The scanner or app will keep a tab of their purchases and offer coupons. It will also alert a customer when they walk past an item on their shopping list.

When the customer is done, they can pay for their items at a self-checkout register. The company mentioned that they soon wanted to eliminate this option all together and provide payment through the app instead.

The technology will be brought to 400 of Kroger’s stores next year as part of Restock Kroger Strategy. The expansion comes after a 20-store test.

In December, Amazon spoke about a similar technology called Amazon Go, a grocery store concept that has no checkout lines. Walmart was also testing out a cashier-free and no checkout lines service, called the Kepler Project, in more than a dozen of their stores in Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky.

Walmart’s Future: Stores Without Cashiers?

Kroger will be the first to offer this technology to the mass market

Kroger, however, will be the first to offer this technology to the mass market. According to the Houston Business Journal, Select Kroger stores throughout Greater Cincinnati have tested the program for the past five years. After these test stores were met with success, the company decided to expand their test stores, including several Fry’s locations in Arizona. A total of more than 25 locations now have Scan, Bag, Go service, including 15 in Greater Cincinnati, according to a company spokesperson.

The giant retailer has been expanding and toying with different ways to enhance the shopper experience with their ClickList online order and pickup system and home delivery.

Kroger has 450,000 employees and 2,793 retail locations under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.