Self-checkout counters- a new fad in Singapore supermarket

To reduce waiting time for customers and solve the labour problem, supermarket chains are increasingly switching over to self-checkout counters to scan-and-go systems in Singapore.

Various supermarket chains in Singapore- Sheng Siong, FairPrice, Giant and Cold Storage have installed self-checkout counters. Sheng` Siong has started a hybrid self-checkout system in 15 of 42 outlets. It will be rolled out to other outlets this year.

Self-checkout counters in Singapore
Self-checkout counters are being installed in Singapore's supermarkets. Photo courtesy: conservative

In the regular system, there is a cashier who scan, pack and collect payment from customers. Electronic transactions, such as Nets and credit cards, add a minute to the wait, during which the cashier is unable to assist the next customer.

However, Sheng Siong's hybrid system cuts out the need for cashiers to collect payment, which means they get to the next customer quicker. Here, customers are given the bill and pay using a cash machine.

Another supermarket chain Cold Storage has also installed integrated self-checkout systems in 27 of 60 outlets, with expansion plans on the cards. Shoppers scan, pack and pay for their grocery items at self-checkout counters.

"Cold Storage has reduced the number of cashiers needed per mid-sized store by about 44 per cent, and customer waiting time by 40 per cent," a spokesman said.

FairPrice has self-checkout counters in 59 of its more than 130 outlets. It also has a scan-and-go system at its FairPrice Finest outlet in Bukit Timah Plaza.

Giant hypermarkets have self- checkout and self-weighing stations, which the chain plans to introduce in its smaller outlets too.