News Feature | August 21, 2014

Target Launching New, Improved Self-Checkout Service

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies
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By Megan Zielinski, contributing writer

Target Self-Checkout Service

In less than five weeks, thanks to a group of dedicated Target experts, the company will be introducing customers to their new and improved self-checkout registers, allowing customers to have a fast and pleasant checkout experience, while enabling employees to have more time to assist guests on the sales floor while they shop.

The launch of this series of self-checkout registers are an improvement upon the self-checkout registers implemented in 16 stores last year for testing. The original registers were designed with older technology, resulting in a slow checkout process, repeated malfunctioning, and 40-60 minute restarting session following a glitch. Customers want a self-checkout option, and Target recognized how important it is to provide customers with its convenience by improving upon the models in the 16 pilot stores, with plans to expand further to more stores nationwide.

Target pulled together a team of 10 specialists from security, infrastructure, solution delivery, engineering, support operations and the support team, working strategically, together building a better solution in just five weeks. The team chose a more innovative, seamless operating system, including new hardware with advanced memory levels and exceptional overall performance. Target experimented with more than 2,000 automated tests and manual tests on the new registers, mimicking customer transactions. The registers proved to be a success as none of the test cases failed, transactions took a half of a minute less than it did on the original models, and a restart time of only 6 minutes compared to the near hour-long wait with last year’s versions.

 Early this month, new software was installed into the self-checkout registers at Target stores in Minneapolis, where Target headquarters are located. The first trial run of the newly-designed registers processed over 600 transactions with not a single error.

Kelly Hanson, a senior group manager on the Target Technology Services (TTS) team mentioned that failure has nothing to do with the team meeting certain deadlines or not, but instead she stated, “Failure would be not making the right decision at the right time for our company and guests. Luckily, because this amazing team of partners refused to give up, self-checkout is coming to Target this year.”

Target plans to integrate the self-checkout registers in 39 stores nationwide over the next few months rolling out to 500 more stores each year, starting in 2015.