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Fresh & Easy Testing Shopper Scanning Device

BURBANK, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, El Segundo, Calif., is testing a “Scan As You Shop” handheld device at a store here that allows shoppers to scan products during their shopping trip and keep track of what they are spending.

The system is intended to speed up the checkout process, in part by enabling shoppers to avoid unloading their goods at the checkout. “We are always looking at innovative ways to make our customer’s shopping trip even easier,” said Brendan Wonnacott, a spokesman for Fresh & Easy.

Tesco, Fresh & Easy’s parent, has been testing a similar system at some stores in the UK. In the U.S., a similar device has been rolled out to about 350 Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover stores, part of Ahold USA, though this device also provides targeted discounts. Ahold is transitioning the system to a mobile app that shoppers can employ on their smartphone.

According to Fresh & Easy Buzz, an independent blogger that follows the chain, the test store has set up two checkout lanes specifically for users of the handheld device. At the checkout, a store employee randomly checks six items for scanning accuracy, before the shopper is allowed to pay, the blog said, adding that the system is compatible with a shopper’s Friends loyalty card.

John Caron, SVP marketing, Modiv Media, Quincy, Mass., which provides the software for the Ahold system, noted that a scanning device needs to deliver targeted offers to maximize adoption and user satisfaction. “We know this firsthand,” he said.

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