Quick and Easy Shopping at Stop & Shop

easySHOP Kiosk easySHOP Scanner

I’m a little bit suspicious of the “U-Scan” trend at grocery stores, as it seems like a ploy to get customers like me to do—unpaid—the job of cashiers. So you might think that there would be even more reason to object to the new “easySHOP” system that just appeared at my local Stop & Shop. Actually, I think it’s a big improvement.

As you can see from my photos, “easySHOP” lets customers with store cards check out hand-held scanners from a kiosk at the front of the store. Then, as you shop you can ring up and bag each item, and you just pay on your way out. There are a number of advantages: you can compare the rung-up price with the price listed on the shelf; you can keep a running total as you go; and of course you can largely avoid the long checkout lines.

You do have to agree to a possible “random audit” of your order, so we’ll see if that occurs enough to be annoying. Otherwise, I think this could be a great system.

13 Comments


  1. I’m a little bit suspicious of the “U-Scan” trend at grocery stores, as it seems like a ploy to get customers like me to do—unpaid—the job of cashiers.

    You’re right.

    When Congress was debating raising the minimum wage, I predicted to friends that if the minimum wage was raised one of the first places we would see it would be in the grocery store. As business owners are forced to pay cashiers higher wages, I think we will see self-checkout solutions become more and more common. While buying groceries I thought of engaging cashiers on this topic several times, but I don’t think I ever had the chutzpah to do so.

  2. Yea, true, I agree too.

  3. I also like the convenience and not having to wait in the long lines, but I think that this is reducing our human contact (and maybe even our sense of humanity) even more than it already has been, and that, in my opinion, is not a good thing…

    Back in New Mexico (where life is Very slow and easy), checkers actually still make small talk with you – just for a few seconds while they’re bagging your stuff, you might chat about how expensive some vegetable is, or they might even ask you where you found a particular item… Maybe you let them know about the good deal you just found on some little luxury item, or you talk about the terrible traffic jam you just got through to get there (i.e., 5 cars at a stoplight in New Mexico) … After a few seconds like this, you thank them and they wish you a good day. And both of you can actually seem to mean it.

    Yeah, it’s superficial, but it’s human.

    (I suspect that we are mainly East-Coasters posting here. Someone like Michael C, above, would most likely not feel the need to call on some extraordinary chutzpah to get the cashier’s opinion in NM)

    the diatribe continues: the diy checking is faster, but it also promotes the idea in our culture that we should do everything as fast as possible, even if that means reducing human contact and forgetting to see each other as human beings; we start to see each other as “my means for getting what I want as quickly and efficiently as possible…” (yup – I think Kant had a real insight on that one.) “Why can’t that person just hurry up! I Need to get More for me! NOW.”

    I suspect that’s why a blog and possibilities to post like this are such a welcome medium. We get to have the illusion of being social, and of having others listen to us and agree or disagree with us. we have the chance to slow down and be thoughtful about the little (and very important) things in life, and to remember that those two qualities – being little and being very important – do not necessarily designate mutually exclusive categories. (like Maggie, for instance! =) )

    ok – posting is not just an illusion of being social, and it really is great that we have something to fill the gap with, but it just doesnt provide what you get out of real human contact, where you *have* to be face-to-face with another person, and actually deal with whatever (good and bad) comes up in social life.

    “I don’t like what you think about my posting? well, I’ll just scroll down ’til I find someone who agrees with ME and who recognizes just how right and great I am… Better yet, I’ll just close that window with a firm press of my index-finger, and I will make You disappear! Hah!”

    Dealing with people on a face-to-face basis forces us – whether we like it or not – to be just a little less self-indulgent and self-absorbed. and when we have to deal with a person on a regular basis, we can be forced at least to appear to be decent and respectful of them, even if we don’t feel like it. yes, that can be a royal pain, but I think it can also be a very good and decent thing for everyone, including ourselves.

    like Sam and Maggie are probably learning, it’s not Always good to get everything we want, and sometimes it’s just not nice for others when we think that we should get whatever we happen to want Right Now.

    so that’s what I think about those diy things. how many words? just to reiterate what Kant says in a line – “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means”

    thanks very much for the blog, A!

    and now, how do I get out of here?? I really need to go get some more stuff. NOW. =)

  4. I’ve been subjected to the random audit 3 times. Its always the first thing they pick out of my basket. Are they watching me shop and see if I miss something or do they delete something then imply I stole it? The person will pick something off the top of the pile and ask if I scanned it. I say yes then they tell me I didn’t. Maybe I should make them empty my entire cart and go through item by item. Or I should just go back to the old fashion way and keep the local cashier employed.

  5. I too was just audited. It wa such a bad time. My daughter (3) was ready to get out of there and the lady just took her sweet time and scanned 2/3 of my order. It took over 10 minutes!! I think she was just going to do it until she found something I missed. Out of an almost $100 trip I did miss 1 $3 item… My bad. It was an honest mistake and I am sure the 1st 2 time I did Easy Shop I missed even more out of habit of just throwing stuff in my cart. I have stopped myelf many times and went back into the back to scan it. My friend told me they do it ivery 6 times, does this sound right? If that is the case I won’t continue as the time savings would no longer compute…

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  9. I too was just audited. It wa such a bad time. My little girl (3) was prepared to get out of there and the woman just took her lovely efforts and examined. rumah

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