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MEXICO CITY, Mexico. -- Mexican upscale grocer City Market this week completed a successful pilot of a self-checkout system installed in March, as part of several in-store innovations the retailer is testing.
City Market is the first grocer in Mexico to offer its customers a U-Scan self-checkout option, which has been deployed in the new-format store since its opening in March 2006.
In addition to self-checkout - a U-Scan unit from Frisco, Texas-based Fujitsu Transaction Solutions -- shoppers at the upscale shop in Interlomas, a suburb of western Mexico City, are offered the chance to experience other innovations such as electronic shelf labels and cart-mounted personal assistants.
According to Flor Argumedo, c.i.o. for parent holding company Controladora Comercial Mexicana (CCM), City Market is the flagship concept of a high-end grocery and specialty retail format that is slated for expansion over the next two years. "We are testing and evaluating in-store technologies that help enhance our clients' shopping experience and provide strategic differentiation for us," Argumedo said. "As we prove the concept and see sustained consumer usage of these advanced technologies, we'll deploy them in more locations."
Francisco Farrera, practice director for global commercial industries at Unisys Mexico, which resells and distributes Fujitsu retail solutions in Mexico, said that technologies like U-Scan help position City Market as a forward-thinking trend setter that provides a unique environment for its customers.
"Even though self-checkout is largely new to Mexico, shoppers seem open and willing to use it," he said, "especially for orders in the 10-15 item range, where it's most convenient to get in and out of the store quickly."
In addition to the self-checkout lane, the new City Market also has nine manned POS lanes in the 5,000 sq. ft. layout. The store is also testing new perishables scales that help ensure price accuracy.
Controladora Comercial Mexicana (CCM) operates one of the largest retail companies in Mexico, with several formats focused on different income levels. The different retail formats are: Comercial Mexicana, Bodega, Mega, Costco, and Sumesa, as well as a chain of family-style restaurants under the name Restaurantes California. The company has 191 stores operating under the five retailing store formats primarily in the Mexico City metropolitan area and in the central Mexico's region.