Kroger's mobile scanning tech will cut checkout lines in 2018

Kroger plans to expand use of technology that enables customers to scan products as they're put into the shopping cart, eliminating the need to stand in traditional checkout lines. Though the Scan, Bag, Go system isn't new, Kroger has revealed that it will be expanding it to 400 stores next year, a move perhaps spurred by Amazon Go and Walmart's own rumored alternative.

Kroger Co. owns a bunch of grocery stores, including ones by the same name, throughout the nation. Over the past five years, some Kroger stores in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the company is based, have been testing the Scan, Bag, Go system. That half-decade pilot has proven successful, and so the system will be introduced in hundreds of Kroger-owned stores.

The Scan, Bag, Go system doesn't entirely eliminate checkout lines, but instead uses technology to scan products as they're put into either bags or carts. The customer then pays at a self-checkout destination, greatly reducing the wait time since the items have already been scanned (and potentially bagged).

A logo on the self-checkout terminal enables the Scan, Bag, Go customer to pay using the related smartphone app, which can also be used to scan the products while shopping. According to Houston Business Journal, which first reported on the plan, Kroger Co hasn't revealed which stores will get Scan, Bag, Go, but will early next year.

The move comes at a time when Walmart and Amazon hint at bringing about major changes to the way people buy groceries. Amazon has entertained — and in some cases, launched — a variety of grocery-related initiatives, while Walmart has introduced its own similar alternatives, including a giant kiosk where customers can pick up orders.

SOURCE: Houston Business Journal