NOVI — One of my jobs as a retired sports broadcaster is to grocery shop. I popped my head into the Kroger off Haggerty Road and Six Mile and was met by a woman who wanted to show me a new way to shop.
It is called Scan, Bag and Go and I even got a free bag for trying out the new technology. Here is how it works. You pick up a scanner as you enter the store. You scan your own items and put them in your cart.
You by pass the cashier and the items are added up and you scan your scanner at the self check out and you are on your way. I tried it but returned my scanner to a manager about half way in. I felt guilty because I saw what this is all about. It is to reduce the work force and allow Kroger to lay off cashiers.
I wanted no part of it. Let the cashiers have their jobs.
I do not mind standing in line to pay for my groceries. I know some people don’t.
Walmart is doing the same thing and wants to introduce its “Scan and Go” program to 100 stores nationwide. The Novi Kroger is the first in metro Detroit to allow customers to bye pass cashier. It is the last time I will use scanners.
I loaded up my cart with fruit, fish and canned goods and had a nice chat with a cashier.
“They are trying to get rid of me,” she said. “I want my little job here. I enjoy it.”
Kroger plans to introduce “Scan, Bag and Go” to 400 stores nationwide for bigger profits and to compete with Amazon which opened a store in the Seattle area called Amazon Go that will not include cashiers.
I avoid the self check out lanes although a store manager swore to me these lanes were set up to make it easier for shoppers, not to get ride of cashiers.
Eventually the scanners will be eliminated and you will be able to scan items and pay for them using a mobile app on your smart phone.
Kroger has enjoyed 52 straight quarters of growth, but panic set in because the last quarter growth this year was a razer-thin 0.1 percent.
This is the wave of the future and this will be the way we all shop. However, I am going to fight this for as long as I can and shop the same way I have for the past five decades. This is not fair to the little man and woman.