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We installed a self checkout kiosk in our newsagency recently

We installed a self checkout kiosk from my POS software company in our newsagency on Glenferrie Road Malvern recently. My understanding this is a first in the local indie Aussie newsagency channel – while WH Smith have their self checkout terminals they are far removed here from a local Aussie newsagency. It’s going well. Customers are using it.

While we developed this POS software self checkout solution for other retail channels, I wanted us to test first in one of our shops, to allow us to see interaction first-hand and to tune the software and hardware as a result.

Here’s a short video about it:

Australia’s big two supermarkets have damaged the reputation of self-checkouts with cameras watching shoppers and less shop floor staff because of more self-checkout positions, they have given self-checkouts a bad name.

There are situations where self-checkouts can be useful for customers and for the business, and where then can be setup without the nasties the big two supermarket chains have used.

I know of retailers who like the idea of a self checkout located far from the counter, closer to where customers load their car or van. A small format self checkout kiosk can be the answer.

I also know of retailers who have shopper traffic peaks for brief periods and where a self checkout terminal could be a cost effective way of smoothing shopper flow.

Tower developed a self checkout solution for our POS software, found awesome small-footprint hardware and installed it at malvern as a trial.

What we have discovered so far is that people are familiar with self-checkout, there is no hesitancy. An unexpected use is by people preferring a discrete purchase.

There have been some questions, like whether there is a camera attached. People like that there is no camera.

One older (80s I am guessing) customer said to me they were surprised to see self checkout in a newsagency and then went on to say they love the innovation, shows you’re keeping with the times he said as he headed out the door.

While I don’t see self checkout becoming a big thing in newsagencies, nor in many smaller independent shops for that matter, there are situations where it is an ideal solution. This is why we invested money in the new software. The development project had to overcome some tech hurdles which resulted in knowledge that will help in other areas of the software.

Software innovation is important in all retail channels given the rapid changes we are seeing in how, when and where people shop as software innovations facilitates retail innovation. What could be sold from here could be quite different to what people pass across the counter to purchase.

This is, in part, what the trial install is about – learning what could be.

While I mention this is a first. If I’m wrong, please comment on this post so the record can be corrected.

newsagency of the future

Join the discussion

  1. David Foskey

    Any plans to add newspapers to the product mix?


  2. Mark Fletcher

    David people can use the self checkout to purchase anything in the business except for MYKI (public transport) tickets. We do have people using it to purchase newspapers, but not as many as I expected.


  3. Steve Sharman

    Maybe newspaper purchasers are not self checking is because they come to your store for personal service, it’s not just the buying of a newspaper but the interaction with the store clerk – some small talk about the weather, how badly they played golf yesterday or their team is doing this season. It’s our usp over supermarkets who these days see customers as an annoyance to be herded into self check out pens..


  4. Mark Fletcher

    It’s hard to say Steve. Those personal elements remain unchanged in the business. We’ve not altered staffing. We setup the self checkout how we did so there is o pressure. Actually, we placed it more so we could show it to other retailers who may need something like it for their business.


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