All about Kenya's first self checkout supermarket

Self-checkout services allow customers to scan their items without the assistance of a teller

It's a new dawn in Kenya as retail chain Carrefour launches the first-ever self-checkout service in Kenyan supermarkets.

Carrefour rolled out the service in its Westgate Mall store in Nairobi and plans on introducing the service to all its others stores depending on how the pilot goes.

What is self-checkout and how does it work?

So, with self-service checkout customers grab the products they want and then proceed to scan them through bar codes without the assistance of a teller.

Basically, you walk into a supermarket grab whatever brought you there go to the counter, and count the items on your own.

It's usually a fast track out the door, in foreign countries that have self-checkouts shoppers who use them tend to have fewer items in their carts.

One of its advantages is that you can pack your bags more carefully because you're in complete control. Its main aim? Saving time and avoiding inconveniences caused by long queues.

According to Majid Al Futtaim Retail (the group that owns Carrefour) East Africa Regional Director Christophe Orcet the counters enabling the service feature digital screens and hand-held barcode readers for shoppers to scan items and pay using cashless options including M-Pesa.

“The self-checkout service underlines our ongoing commitment to creating seamless shopping experiences for all our customers through adopting global best practices and solutions,” Christophe Orcet said.

Before adding, "the innovative service will allow customers greater freedom, control and convenience while shopping.”

To access the service, customers can click ‘Start’ on the self-checkout counter’s digital screen, scan their items using the barcode reader, and complete the purchase by tapping on ‘Finish & Pay’.

The self-checkout lane accepts cashless payment options including M-Pesa, debit or credit cards, and MyCLUB loyalty points. And is to be used by customers shopping for fewer than 15 items.

What are your thoughts on this?

Personally, I feel like it's a good and bad thing. On the cons, you get to walk into a counter and quickly scan your things not asking how much it is or waiting for change.

Unto the cons, I'm thinking of the tellers who might lose their jobs due to this, also there is the fact that Kenyans aren't exactly law-abiding and you'll find someone with more than 15 items hogging the line.

Also, what if someone decides not to ring an item in their shopping, and lastly what if you make a mistake or don't have enough cash and you need something removed from your cart? Because we have all seen that happen.

Only one way to see how all this goes.

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