STUDIO CITY (CBSLA/AP) — Hate standing in the checkout line? You’re in luck.
Less than a month after Amazon debuted its cashless store, supermarket giant Kroger is trying to follow suit.
Kroger announced Wednesday that it will begin rolling out its “Scan, Bag, Go” app at stores nationwide, including here in Southern California. The app allows customers to scan items as they shop using their phones, and then go through a self-checkout area to pay.
“Scan, Bag, Go allows customers to use a wireless handheld scanner or the Scan, Bag, Go app on their personal device to scan and bag products as they shop for a quicker, seamless checkout experience,” Kroger said in a news release.
However, Kroger says its app will eventually allow customers to pay directly through their phone and avoid the checkout completely.
“Customers will soon have the ability to provide payment directly through the app, allowing shoppers to exit the store even quicker.”
The app is currently being tested at select stores in Ohio and Arizona, but will soon be rolled out at Ralphs, Fred Meyer and Fry’s locations across the country. A Kroger spokesperson told the Mercury News that 30 Ralphs’ stores in Southern California will get the service by March. The first will be in Studio City by late February.
This comes after Amazon in January opened its first artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle.
The 1,800-square-foot store allows shoppers to scan their smartphone with the Amazon Go app at a turnstile, pick out the items they want and leave. By combining computer vision, machine learning algorithms and sensors, the online retail giant can tell what people have purchased and charges their Amazon account. If someone puts an item back, they aren’t charged.
The store is not without employees — Amazon says there will be people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store will offer ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It’ll also have Amazon Meal Kits.
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