TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Japan

Aeon Japan invests in self-checkout registers

Some of its stores will require installing an app, whilst others will provide rental phones.

Aeon Japan is introducing self-checkout registers that can read prices of items that customers purchase through a phone app for 1,000 supermarket units in 2021 to cope with fewer employees in its stores, IGD reported.

At 520 stores of United Super Markets (UMSH), customers need to download an app on their own smartphone. Payment can then be made automatically using a credit card, and shoppers can leave the store by scanning a QR code over a dedicated device.

Meanwhile, at 350 AEON Retail stores, rental smartphones will be provided. The information being scanned will then be transferred to an unmanned cash register, and customers can pay with a card.

The time required for self-checkout is estimated to be less than one-tenth of the regular waiting time in standard checkout lines. The introduction cost at Aeon is estimated to be less than $100,000 (JPY10m) per store.

“This amount of investment makes it faster to be rolled out, compared with the self-checkout registers of unmanned stores such as Amazon Go. The latter costs millions of dollars due to the multiple cameras and sensors that need to be installed to track movements of shoppers,” IGD’s senior retail analyst Francis Ramos commented.

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