How one Independent Grocer has reacted to the changing demographics and technology in the grocery industry.
The Lawrenceville Shop N Save has been a valued grocery store POS customer of Retail Data Systems Northeast for the last 20 years. The independent grocery store has seen many changes to technology and demographics over the years that have positively impacted their business.
In February 2019, the Lawrenceville Shop N Save installed NCR FastLane SelfServ™ Checkout Systems from Retail Data Systems. From the day the self-checkout systems were installed to customers using the systems today, the process has been smooth and successful. Matt Cramer, the owner of the Lawrenceville Shop N Save, sat down with Retail Data Systems to talk about why he decided to install self-checkout systems and what benefits he has seen since.
Hiring and keeping employees can be difficult for the independent grocer and it was a challenge for Cramer’s store. “The number 1 reason we installed self-checkout was lack of employees. Getting people to apply as a cashier has been difficult. We deal with constant turnover and people just not showing up. I can now have 4 FastLanes open and one assisted lane with only 2 employees.”
Less employees also means lowering the payroll for a store. “My payroll has gone down and I am never afraid of any employees calling in sick or quitting without notice. I always have 4 lanes open even if I am the only person in the store.”
With his payroll going down and his production going up, the owner has seen immediate ROI with NCR FastLane SelfServ™ Checkout Systems. “I knew it would be a way to solve my hiring issue and also save payroll.”
With technology in the grocery industry rapidly changing and the behaviors of younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, it’s imperative that the independent grocer reacts and make the necessary improvements. Today’s young shoppers expect some form of self-checkout at retail stores.
“My store is in an area that has been traditionally older clientele and a declining neighborhood. Over the last couple of years it has become a growing area again with a lot of younger families moving in. We have been adding more technologies that appeal to the Millennials and Gen Z population.”
Young shoppers appreciate the speed, ease-of-use, and privacy that self-checkout systems provide. But the young shoppers aren’t the only people using self-checkout. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of older shoppers who have started to use the FastLanes.”
Today’s grocery customers are more demanding and time-starved than ever. Not only do they want shopping to be fast, easy, and convenient, but they also prefer to be in control and appreciate their privacy.
“My goal is better customer service. What was once perceived as self-checkout being less customer service has turned into better customer service for those that like to have the option of assisted lane and self-checkout systems.”
“I am consistently seeing 37% of customers using the FastLane systems and have had as high as 43%. I can only see that number growing. Before we installed self-checkouts we had six assisted lanes and there were often lines during peak times. With Fastlanes that no longer happens. In the past when there was a Steelers home game, our lanes would line up for an hour or so before the game with all of our lanes open. Now with the self-checkout systems, we are not seeing any lines even though we are handling more customers.”
“To stay in business, we must keep up with technology. I am convinced that without the NCR FastLane SelfServ™ Checkout Systems, I would not be in business.