Monday, December 21, 2009

Express shopping

One thing I love about Sweden is that here are so many “smart” little things, making your everyday life smoother. Take grocery shopping for instance. Since my mom is member of a program that goes under the name “express shopper” she scans and packs her own groceries while shopping, and then simply pays for them at the counter. It’s super convenient, especially when doing big shopping sprees like buying all the Christmas food.

When arriving at the checkout counter she simply swipes her card, registers her scanner and that’s it. She’ll pay the sum of all the groceries she’s scanned! It sometimes happens that the system decided that she needs to check all the groceries (she then has to unpack and rescan everything) in order to make sure that the sum is correct, but during the 3 (or 4?) years she’s been an “express shopper” I believe it has only happened three or four times.

I love this system. There are never any lines in this grocery shop where we go. It’s also a great way to keep track of how much everything costs and how much you have shopped for, as the price of the grocery you scan comes up on the screen, followed by the total sum. If you change your mind you can simply “un-scan” a product (by pressing a minus sign) and put it back.


Thomas Lee/Lee Lip Pang said...

Great system but only suitable to places with lots of honest people.

Pete In Syracuse said...

That sounds neat I've wished I could have something like that in other stores too. Jonna what Christmas tradition did or does your family do that you remember as a little girl? Does your family still do it (The tradition)? Why?

Brad Farless said...

That's really cool. There's something similar in the US, where you do a self check-out. You scan and pack your stuff yourself. You can pay by cash or card. The system you described seems even better, but I don't think most people are honest enough for that to work. The self check-out in the US makes you put everything in bags on a scale to make sure you're not trying to steal something. Every four self-checkouts or so has a person watching too. I've seen it at Wal Mart and one other store so far. Maybe there's more now. I haven't really been shopping in the US for a long time.

Anonymous said...

What about the thieves?

I don't think scan-it-yourself will ever work in a country like China. There are simply too many people who will try to take advantage. A better system would be to automate the whole process, leave out the human unintentional and sometimes intentional errors.

Debbie said...

I do the same thing, check out my groceries in self do it place. Use a credit card, so I can do it all there. They do have one lady at a register that can help if the machine doesn't scan something right.
Love it.

mantse said...

i like this..... when can people here can try this???

Anonymous said...

Woah! This is so cool! Do you think it would work in China? *chuckles*

TFHK said...

that IS a smart device! wish we could have it here in hong kong! i love checking out supermarkets when i travel to a foreign country. i remember i was v. excited about the wheeled shopping basket things (hope u understand what i mean...) that seem to be quite popular in france or sweden, and that is totally unseen in hong kong (am i being too much of a nerd who is "excited" by things like this?!) really happy to learn something new about sweden (a country i happened to visit twice, and i LOVE it)...thanks for the report and stay warm!

God Jul:D

Mountaincat said...

Amazing! I think such system can only be possible in Sweden. Not in other countries in Europe. Too much theft happens.

Melody said...

@ Mountaincat

We have a similar system over here as well (in Holland). It works perfectly fine, and is has been working flawlessly for almost 10 years. I love it. Hardly any lines at the check-out!

Jonna, a merry christmas and a happy new year to you! Hope you're enjoying your time in Sweden.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Thomas -anyone can't just grab a scanner and start shopping. You need to be in the program in order to be able to use it. Also, if you "abuse" the system by being dishonest and get caught cheating, you won't be able to go on for long.

Pete -it is quite neat! :) We are not that traditional to be honest w u... However, Xmas is always celebrated the same way: 1. Drinking glögg. 2. Going to church (once a year we all go!) 3. Eating (insane amounts). 4. Watching some Disney classics on TV (however, this tradition has not been kept as we are all grown ups now). 5. Cookies and nuts. 6.Opening the pressies. 7. Night cap (food, drink, whatever u want). 8. Sleep!

The following day (Dec 25) we have a huge turkey dinner. I love it!

Brad -It is a really good system and I don't know how honest Swedes are in general, but it obviously works otherwise they would not do it.

Anonymous -nah, I don't think it would work in China either.. Well not now anyways. Maybe in 10 years or so. China's not ready for this system yet.
Like I said, anyone can't just grab a scanner and start shopping. You need to be in the program in order to be able to use it. Also, if you "abuse" the system by being dishonest and get caught cheating you'll lose your membership and cannot do it again.

Debbie yup, it is great! Saves u loads of time!

mantse -I have not seen it anywhere else but in Sweden.

Kanmuri -probably not... but I am sursprised Japan doesn't have it?!

TFHK -I am just like u, I enjoy grocery shopping abroad just to check out the different systems (not to mention the different products!!). God Jul to you too! :)

Mountaincat -there u go, works elsewhere too! I am 100% sure it would be possible in all Scandinavian countries.

Melody -thanks sweetie, merry Xmas to you too! Yeah, this system is great. It's something I miss every time I go back to China!

Nikki said...

We have these in the US too. Well, I've really only seen them at one grocery store, it just happens to be the one I shop at all the time. It's a fantastic system!

Mountaincat said...

Seems that Canada, US, Japan, Sweden and Holland have such system somewhere, but it is not common. If I use here in Japan, it takes slower time if done by me, compared to professional cashier.

They probably have some kind of system not disclosed to customer to monitor thieves. We can only guess.

Joyce Lau said...

I think this system would work in Hong Kong. After all, we love our automated stuff, like the Octopus.
I love the idea of knowing how much your groceries add up to AS you shop, not just at the end.
Today, I was using a HK$200 Citysuper gift certificate, so I was trying to buy at least HK$200 worth of groceries.
I totally overestimated, because my the time I got to the counter, it was HK $400!

Joyce Lau said...

By the way, have a wonderful Christmas!
I haven't had a white Christmas since I left Canada in 1998. I miss it so much.

Little Tiger said...

Merry Xmas!! This post reminds me of all the xmas shopping I still have left to do.....

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