Shopping – the mere word brings up images of drudgery and frustration (unless it’s a book store or a gadget store, of course!) But the worse part of it all is definitely the checkout line, where one must queue up and wait for a small eternity as price checks are issued for random objects. But Walmart is trying to help the experience by adding technology to the shopping cart, making it much quicker and easier to do the required chore.
Called Scan and Go, the system merges regular shopping with the self-check kiosks (which often still requires a queue to operate, much to shopper’s chagrin). The clever carts are equipped with a combination touch screen and bar code scanner, and the shopper can scan things as they pick them up in the store. When they are finished, the lucky shopper pays and leaves , completely bypassing the bleak and desperate faces waiting in the checkout line.
The system is currently in testing at Houston, Texas, but I hope it rolls out nationwide soon. In the meanwhile, I will keep refining my “best shopping time” charts and tables in order to best cope with the crowds. This is no small feat, since you have to take into account any required resources for the shopping task. Seriously, have you even tried getting customer service at 3 a.m.? It’s not pretty.