Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Scan-matic Supermarket

scan what you want, pick it up later
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

Inside Scan-matic Supermarkets customers are free to wander up and down the isles of products, picking them up, reading the labels deciding what they want, etc. The only thing they don't do is to put anything in a shopping basket or trolley.

As they make their selections, they scan each one using the hand-held bar-code reader they collected on the way in. This transfers live information to the highly efficient packing department, so that when they have finished shopping, their groceries are simply waiting for collection and payment on the way out.

Customer. No need to push around a heavy trolley full of stuff, only to have to unload it as you pay for each item, then load it back up again. No queueing up in long lines to pay.
Supermarket. No need to store stock on shelves that require constant replenishing. Theft virtually eliminated. Much more efficient shopping. Savings passed on to customers.

xenzag, Jun 29 2010

very similar, but not exact http://www.associat...anners_was_not.html
[daseva, Jun 29 2010]

Shopping Concept Shopping_20Concept
[xaviergisz, Jun 29 2010]


       It would work for pre-packaged, standardised items like frozen peas, soap powder, tinned beans and breakfast cereals; but it might be more tricky with meat and fish, or bread, where the purchaser may wish to examine and select from a range on offer - more or less streaky bacon, a pale or dark crust on the loaf.   


       However, it would therefore be possible to do the bulk of the shopping online before leaving the comfort (if any) of one's home, and make the trip to the store to collect the preselcted goods and choose those "variable" items like bread, vegetables and fresh meat on the spot.
8th of 7, Jun 29 2010

       So sorry if the whole idea is a bit practical.... next one will be a bit less so...
xenzag, Jun 29 2010

       Has similarities with the Ikea shop model - where you wander round the 'showrooms' noting the tags with information about where to find the equivalent flatpack downstairs. This works becuase it dissassociates the browsing with the collection.   

       Has similarities with the Argos shop model - where you browse a catalogue, note the codenumber of the items you want and then go and pay for them. You then pick up your goods at a counter.   

       Has similarities with some department stores wedding list service. They give you a barcode gun and then you waltz round the store scanning everything you want on your list. Then, if your guests have been generous, all of the goods are delivered to your door after your honeymoon...
Jinbish, Jun 29 2010

       Another advantage is that the shopping portion of the store can be smaller--each item is present as only one sample, instead of a honking large bin full of whatever it is, and the aisles can be narrower as folks aren't pushing overloaded trolleys through them.   

       Scan your shopper's card when you walk in, and the computer screen shows what you have bought recently. You tick off what you want to purchase again, and only have to hunt for the new stuff. [+]
baconbrain, Jun 29 2010

       [+] Not only could the store have just one sample of each item, it doesn't have to be a real item -- an empty box of food will do just as well as a full one.   

       If there's no food in the packages, refrigerated or frozen items won't have to be kept cold, at least not on the customer side of the store.   

       Since shelves don't need to be deep for holding multiple items, there doesn't need to be as much space between one aisles and the next. Furthermore, since there wouldn't be any shopping carts, aisles could be much narrower -- just wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass one another. These two factors together would allow more aisles (and more linear feet of display space) per square foot of retail space.   

       The store's "packing department" could use automated warehouse technology to reduce the number of workers needed, and hopefully increase speed and accuracy of packing.   

       There is only one downside to this idea -- if a customer doesn't want some type of merchandise to be bought, all that he needs to do is destroy the one sample, or vandalize it's bar code, and no-one can easily buy that product until it's replaced.   

       baconbrain, you should post that last bit as a separate idea, so I can give it it's own bun -- it doesn't *need* to be combined with an automated system -- in a conventional store, the items on digitally selected shopping list would be collected by one or more store employees, and handed to the customer when he or she goes to check out the new stuff.
goldbb, Jun 29 2010

       It would be better to have the scanner link directly to one's bank account. Otherwise, people could run up and down the aisles, scanning everything, and wasting the packing team's time.
DrWorm, Jun 29 2010

       [DrWorm] I would imagine that you would pay prior to the groceries being packed and collected.   

       In fact, you wouldn't even need to have it right away. You could spend your time selecting food on, say, Saturday when you've plenty of free time, and pick it up on Wednesday on your way home from work.
Alx_xlA, Jun 29 2010


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