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2014.01.15 10:11

Lithuanian invention could make supermarket cashiers’ jobs obsolete

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2014.01.15 10:11

  Enough of rude supermarket employees? Not to worry, as in several years they may be obsolete. A smart shopping cart created by Lithuanians will revolutionise retail market – supermarkets will no longer need big cash registers or cashiers, www.delfi.lt reports.

Enough of rude supermarket employees? Not to worry, as in several years they may be obsolete. A smart shopping cart created by Lithuanians will revolutionise retail market – supermarkets will no longer need big cash registers or cashiers, www.delfi.lt reports.

“Smart shopping carts are for the future, because neither the stores nor the market are ready for that yet. However, the time for development is suitable,” Edvinas Baublys, the founder and the head of ‘Acorn Intelligence’, said about his invention.

Working together with three colleagues, Baublys intends to offer smart solutions for retailers.

“The cart’s novelty is that it does all the actions currently carried out by cashiers,” said the head of the company.

According to Baublys, the new cart automatically scans items that are put inside it. No cash registers will be needed either as it is possible to pay using the cart.

“So, no cash register or cashier will be needed. The cart becomes a cash register on wheels,” he said.

Still, in order for the cart to work as planned, items have to be marked, not using ordinary barcodes, but with electronic labels scanned by radio frequency and not optically.

Special antennas for shopping carts have been created. They scan only those items which are put in the cart.

Baublys noted that such technology will be used in the future: “It is difficult to say when, in two or in five years, but supermarkets will consider using such a system.” He said the need for the new shopping cart was discussed with one of the Lithuanian retail networks, which is interested in the novelty.

“Although a prototype has to be created first, which requires a lot of investment,” said the director who is working on another novelty for shops which he did not disclose.

Baublys acknowledged that one of the hardest tasks will be changing shoppers’ habits: “It was a similar story with the self-checkout. At first people were reluctant because they were unsure how to purchase goods by themselves. Nevertheless, the situation changed gradually once people got the hang of the system.”

The founder of the start-up believes that retailers will adopt the shopping cart: “Estimates show that the system would pay off as there are many aspects that the carts solve: big cash registers, cashiers, thefts, actual stock records. There are also major benefits for customers – they won’t have to wait in queues and there is more privacy when buying, as goods don’t have to be taken out from the cart to the counter.”

Talking about cart advantages, Baublys said that the patented cart will assist retailers to monitor the location of items. It will enable them to see which goods are lacking on the shelves and when to resupply.

The businessman noted that markets with the most potential are the United States, Germany, France and Moscow. In some of the shops in the United States people already can scan the items using smartphones.

“Often all other countries follow on after the major markets,” said Baublys.