HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A new wave of grocery shopping is here for Kroger customers in Richmond!
The Willow Lawn Kroger store officially launched its Scan, Bag, Go technology Tuesday, allowing shoppers to "buy as they go".
"It allows our customers to come in pick up on of these devices, or use their mobile app… and scan items they want to buy," said Dylan McMahan, the Scan, Bag, Go specialist for Kroger Mid-Atlantic.
The Willow Lawn Kroger is the first store in the Richmond area to offer this technology, and will soon be added at more stores in the future.
Customers will sign in with their phone number, or Kroger card number to initiate the device and then simply scan the items they would like to purchase at the end of their shopping trip.
"You can scan anything in the store, even produce," McMahan said. "The only thing it doesn't work with is if you're trying to buy gift cards."
The store has specially designed scales in the produce department for items that must be weighed.
"I love it!" said customer Christine Rotter.
Rotter has four kids, and understands the importance of time management, especially in a grocery store.
She tried the Scan, Bag, Go device for the first time Wednesday.
"This is going to be super quick and we're going to buzz right out of here," Rotter said.
"Nobody wants to wait in a long line so this allows you to scan the barcode, your order comes up and since you've already bagged, you just pay and go," McMahan said.
More than 1,000 people have already used the service at the Willow Lawn Kroger, including during the 'soft launch' of the project over the last few days.
The Kroger store at Willow Lawn was specifically chosen to test this technology in the Richmond area because of the customers who shop there.
"This location had digitally engaged customers," McMahan said.
Those customers have also asked for more self-check out lanes, which is where the Scan, Bag, Go service is used.
"I think it's kind of a more efficient, faster way to shop I guess," said customer John Bennett.
"You can either pay on your mobile device by linking your credit card to the Scan, Bag, Go app, or you can go to the self-checkout with this device, or your cell phone, scan the barcode on the bottom of the self-checkout robot… the order comes up and you hit pay now and you're on your way," McMahan said.
Many question whether this the future of shopping.
Grocery experts said the goal is to find out what works and doesn't work for shoppers.
"It just allows them to come in, keep a running total, not overspend, and just give them total control of their shopping experience," McMahan said.
"It's definitely a way to keep everyone engaged," Rotter said. "[The kids] have been paying attention today and we've been giving permission of what you can grab, and what you can scan."
The Willow Lawn Kroger is the first of the 18 Richmond Kroger stores to add the scanner.
Kroger has tested Scan, Bag, Go in several locations across the county. The Roanoke area was the first in the Mid-Atlantic division to add the technology back in February.
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