Continente hypermarkets adopt self-service system developed by Fujitsu

COLLAB distinguished with the APDC / Siemens Innovation Award

Fujitsu and Sonae developed a partnership to implement the latest innovation in Continente hypermarkets checkout’s. Currently, there are four cash register machines on the continents of Gaia and Antas, but, according to Paulo Magalhães, Sonae administrator, «following this experience and after some criteria to be analyzed by the company, the proposal will be extended to other spaces in the food chain «.

Apparently conventional, the U-Scan Self-Checkout allows the customer to control their purchases, since it is the person who passes the products through the machine, confirms the price, distributes the items by the bags and makes the payment in cash, credit card credit or debit card, check or discount voucher, with only minimal supervision by store personnel. Below each bag hanger is a weight platform that validates items as they are stored. This is the way to detect if the products have been read and have not been replaced.

In order to facilitate the purchase process, the U-Scan has a screen touch screen and bilingual voice commands that guide customers through the operation. Based on this technology, it is possible to end long queues, save space, improve customer service and guarantee a return on investment in 9 to 12 months.

All the software in back-office was developed by Fujitsu, which brought together a team made up of professionals from Brazil, Portugal, USA and England. Paulo Igrejas, general manager of Fujitsu Services in Portugal, said that this «is just proof that in Portugal you can do interesting things and as such we want to repeat the experience».

This system can also integrate biometric technologies, such as a customer’s fingerprint, which can be used to identify a credit card payment or to confirm the age of a consumer who is purchasing tobacco or alcohol.

The model found in Antas and Gaia is intended only for basket purchases, but other technological models for larger purchases are already conceived, including: U-Scan5 terminal; U-Scan Kiosk; U-Scan 1; U-Scan 6 and U-Scan Max.

Fujitsu acquired the platform from Optical Robotics which involved an investment of 28.8 million euros, putting the company at the forefront of the retail worldwide. By Sonae, 2 million euros were invested with a view to adopting this system in other Modelo and Continente hypermarkets spread throughout the country.

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