Big Y adopts self-checkout machines

GREAT BARRINGTON — Grocery shopping is all about making choices, and last week, Big Y added one more for customers to make: check out with a cashier or a machine?

Big Y World Class Market on Main Street is wrapping up its first week with six self-checkout machines. Though it’s too soon to tell what kind of impact it will have on the local grocer, store manager Steve Gigliotti said so far so good.

“To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised how well-accepted it was,” Gigliotti said the day after the new machines opened. “All six were going the whole time. People were saying it’s great that they’re open, there’s no waiting — it’s very, very positive reinforcement.”

The machines, NCR FastLane SelfServ, feature 15-inch high-resolution color LCD touchscreens, lead-through animation, and lights to provide visual clues. Tuesday afternoon, customers moved quickly through self-checkout lanes and an attendant was on hand to help first-time users navigate the process.

In many ways, incorporating self-checkout machines into the store seems like a natural evolution for the grocer, Gigliotti said. During his time in the Berkshires, he said he’s watched more and more retailers begin to adopt them, and he’s watched the machines become easier and easier to use.

“Everybody has them now, and to be honest, customers are requesting them,” he said.

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