Monday, October 29, 2007

DIY Checkout

I swear, this self checkout station must be the only one in DC. I found it way downtown at the CVS Pharmacy at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave NW. I used it, happily, while wishing that our CVS locations (1700 Columbia Rd NW and 6 Dupont Circle) had such options. Maybe its a "test run." Or maybe we just aren't worthy. I'm hoping its the former.

My hometown grocer, Kroger, wowed us in the mid-1990s when they introduced the self checkout lines. What? We can scan our own items? You trust us not to steal? What if I key French Vanilla in as Breakfast Blend? This is perfect. This is the future! It actually worked. You could scan and bag your own items and pay any way you liked (no checks though) as long as you had fewer than 10 items. Pretty neat concept. There were 4 self checkout "stations" and one employee that observed all four and who would help out whenever you had any issues; credit card doesn't work, you can't find the code for asparagus. Otherwise, you were free to ring yourself up, bag your items, pay the machine and be on your way. I guess it never really caught on as a mainstream idea, not in DC anyway. Too bad, I kind of liked it.