Colruyt workers ease into easy check-out

Colruyt workers ease into easy check-out

Innovative AI check-out system: ergonomic and faster check-out process

Thursday, February 2, 2023

As from today, the Colruyt Lowest Prices store workers in Halle have started using an easy check-out. Above the check-out is a camera that uses artificial intelligence to automatically scan products when they're transferred from one shopping cart to the other. This new check-out system speeds up the check-out process by one fifth and is more ergonomic because workers are able to use both hands. The innovative system was developed by Colruyt Group's innovation team, Smart Technics, and was already successfully tested in a test environment. The easy check-out system is currently being tested with real customers at the Colruyt Lowest Prices store of Halle. Based on the success of this test, a further roll-out will be scheduled.

Customers at the Colruyt Lowest Prices store in Halle will see two big LED lamps and a camera above one of the check-outs. The camera above the check-out uses artificial intelligence and scans products which the worker transfers from one shopping cart to the other, in keeping with Colruyt's unique check-out system. The camera above the check-out recognises up to 85% of the products and can also distinguish and make the right choice when a product has several bar codes, like on a multi-pack. Vegetables and fruit still need to be weighed, they don't fall under this new method. The camera cannot see products located at the bottom of the shopping cart, such as crates, which still need to be scanned with a hand-held scanner.

Rudi Dewulf, regional director at Colruyt Lowest Prices: “Colruyt's check-out system is unique: our workers have been transferring products from one cart to another for years. The customer doesn't have to do anything at all and simply waits for the shopping to be scanned. Colruyt puts a premium on innovation, and that includes the check-out process. Our Smart Technics innovation team developed the easy check-out system, in cooperation with Heliovision, and produced a custom-made system: it provides an efficiency gain for the people at the check-out. This innovative way of working allows products to be scanned faster. As a result, the check-out process is up to one fifth faster. And we continue to innovate obviously."

The efficiency gains and faster check-out process are not the only benefits for Colruyt. ​ ​ Rudi Dewulf: “Colruyt launches many ergonomics and health and safety initiatives for its workers. In June last year for instance we worked with the ergonomics coach of Spinewise. We're constantly looking for improvements and expansions in this field, and the easy check-out system is another great step forward: this innovative system allows the people at the check-out to transfer products with both hands. This ergonomic advancement is a very important factor for us.”

The easy check-out system will be tested for several months at the Colruyt Lowest Prices store in Halle, where 10 check-outs will soon be equipped with the brand-new system. Following an evaluation, the further roll-out will become clear.