STUDY: MEN MORE LIKELY TO USE SELF-CHECKOUT THAN WOMEN

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Though women make up the core of most food retailers' shopping base, men are 60% more likely than women to use self-checkout technology on every trip to the store, according to a new study from IHL Consulting Group here.IHL's "2005 North American Retail Self-Checkout Study" queried shoppers on their use of self-checkout lanes.One female respondent offered this explanation for why

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Though women make up the core of most food retailers' shopping base, men are 60% more likely than women to use self-checkout technology on every trip to the store, according to a new study from IHL Consulting Group here.

IHL's "2005 North American Retail Self-Checkout Study" queried shoppers on their use of self-checkout lanes.

One female respondent offered this explanation for why she declined to use self-checkout lanes: "After getting the entire family ready for the day, dropping the kids off, working all day, then fighting traffic to the grocery store to buy the makings for dinner for my family, I use the checkout line for a little bit of downtime, to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip or alien abduction while the cashier rings up my groceries."

Even without the active support of women, self-checkout lanes are humming. According to the report, self-checkout systems will process transactions worth $161 billion in 2005, with the value of these transactions rising to $450 billion annually by 2008. Ninety-four percent of consumers surveyed for the report have at least tried self-checkout technology, and 28% use self-checkout more than 70% of the time.

"Consumers continue to use the systems in increasing numbers," said Greg Buzek, president, IHL Consulting Group, in a statement. "Once a technology only found in supermarkets in the South and Midwest, self-checkout is now available in retailers like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Home Depot and Lowe's, nationwide."

The average number of items in a self-checkout transaction is 6.6, and the average transaction is $34.91, according to the study.

Speed and convenience are the two most commonly cited reasons for use of self-checkout, even though staffed checkout lanes actually offer faster service. The misconception that self-checkouts are faster, the report said, is buttressed by the observation that the line in self-checkout lanes is typically shorter than at express checkout lanes. Also, because self-checkout is an active, rather than passive process, time seems to pass more quickly, according to the IHL study.