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The market for automatic checkouts (or self-service checkouts ) refers to the system that allows a customer to scan and pay for products purchased in a store using a barcode reader at the checkout. The entire device consists of a product holder, a touch screen, a barcode reader, and a payment interface. In France, this system is the most widespread in supermarkets, for customers who buy products in small quantities. However, the costs important implementation projects only allow the largest groups to install them (Carrefour, Auchan, E. Leclerc) and the challenge is to succeed in democratize access to these automatic cash registers up to the smallest shops.

Today, several tens of thousands of automatic cash registers are in service in France. Also known as Self Chef or SCO, these allow businesses to reduce their operating costs and optimize their human resources . Consumers see it as a time saving in the queue. Almost a quarter of French people would now prefer automatic cash registers to traditional ones, and the same number consider that this system allows them to save time

The automatic cash register has thus established itself in the great and hypermarkets french but is still slow to appear in local shops. The manufacturer Wincor Nixdorf is the main player on the market with a very high concentration rate of activity. Market growth is estimated to be at least twice as high in France as in the rest of the world. The main concerns related to the growth of this market are the negative a priori impact of automatic cash registers for employment in a post-crisis period when the French are more than ever looking for a job. As a result, more than 2000 job cuts were made at Auchan with, in the long term, an operation to convert 50% of the checkout fleet into automatic checkouts

Today, almost all major distribution chains are equipped with automatic cash registers. In 2005, Casino was the pioneer in this innovation, then the other brands followed suit (Auchan, Carrefour, Intermarché, Système U, Simply Market, Leroy Merlin and Ikea). The challenge for supermarket chains is therefore to convert the cashier's position and make it evolve to avoid massive job cuts.






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