By Mark Kawalya
Shoppers at retail chain Carrefour now have the option of self-service checkout at the supermarket’s Westgate mall, making it possible for customers to complete their shopping without the help of cashiers.
The self-service Checkout counters are equipped with digital screens and hand-held barcode readers for scanning customers goods. Payments are cashless and support mobile options such as M-Pesa.
According to information from Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, the exclusive holder of Carrefour’s franchise in Kenya, the service is open to only shoppers with less than 15 items. Plans are underway to roll out self-service checkout in other branches of the retail chain across Kenya.
“We are proposing a new, fast solution for payment when customers complete their shopping at Carrefour,” said Christopher Orcet, Majid Al Futtaim retail regional director for East Africa. “To access the service, customers will click ‘Start’ on the digital screen, scan their items using the barcode reader, and complete the transaction by tapping ‘Finish & Pay’.”
Mr. Orcet added that Carrefour is the first retail chain to introduce the self-checkout option in Kenya, with the aim of making shopping easier and cutting down on check out times. Similarly, Carrefour has implemented this type of check-out in other markets, such as Qatar and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“Customer feedback in the markets where the service has been rolled out is extremely positive,” Mr. Orcet said. Currently, Carrefour has 19 outlets in Kenya, with 15 of them in Nairobi, while Mombasa and Kisumu each have two branches of the retail chain.
In a bid to compete with well-known brands like Quickmart and Naivas, the firm opened its first store in Nairobi’s lucrative Central Business District. This enabled the firm to expand its customer base and networks.