By Tim Leeds
Customers at Havre's Kmart used new self-serve registers to make almot 8,000 purchases this weekend. With the newly installed registers, they checked out and paid for items with no help from store employees needed.
"From what I'm hearing, people like them," said Dave Sohm, assistant manager at Kmart.
The new registers replaced the first four registers at the store. The old registers were removed Wednesday, starting at 7 a.m., with the new registers in place and employees being trained in their use Friday.
Sohm said he was shopping in the store Sunday and used the self-service checkouts himself. Three of the four registers were being used when he made his purchase, he added.
Customers can use the new registers to scan, bag and pay for their purchases, using cash, credit cards and debit cards. A store employee is on duty at a station by the registers to provide help and to transfer the sale to a staffed register if the customer chooses to use a check, traveler's check or food stamps.
Checks and food stamps can't be run through the new registers.
New manned registers were also installed in the store, with larger screens for the customers to view as their transactions are rung up. They also have faster processing times, said Kmart spokeswoman Susan Dennis in Troy, Mich.
A team worked Tuesday night to install those registers, which were operating Wednesday morning.
The new customer-operated registers are part of a push by the Kmart corporation to increase the use of technology in its stores. The Havre store is one of about 1,300 stores getting the registers. bout 500 are in place now.
Up to 40 percent of the total purchases made in stores with the technology have gone through the new registers.
Sohm said he is not concerned that attempts to shoplift will increase with the new registers because the attendant is on duty nearby. Also, a scale weighs the items being checked out and compares it with the price. If they don't match, the transaction is stopped, he said.