Grocery store chain Metro announced that it is testing the same type of ‘scan-and-go’ technology being used by Amazon in an effort to increase automation at its stores and cut down on the number of people it employs. The scan-and-go system – still at the experimental stage – will allow customers to scan items as they put them in their shopping cart and pay as they leave the store.
Metro estimates the higher minimum wage will cost $35 million for its current financial year, rising to between $45 million and $50 million per year when the full Ontario wage increase is implemented.
The retailer has automated self-scanning checkouts in 24 Metro stores in Ontario and plans to add them in seven more stores by the end of summer, as well as six at its Food Basics discount banner in the next few months. The Montreal-based company will also add more self-checkout machines, particularly in Ontario where the minimum wage was increased to $14 an hour and is projected to rise to $15 next January. The chain is also looking to mitigate increased costs by testing electronic store shelves, increasing automation at its new Ontario distribution centre and cutting hours at some stores.
Amazon’s entry into the grocery-delivery business shouldn’t be perceived as an immediate threat to both Loblaw and Metro, but both companies should take this as a warning shot of where the internet behemoth is heading.
CBCNews (2018), Metro adding self-checkout units and testing Scan-and-Go to deal with wage hikes, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/metro-checkout-minimum-wage-1.4510783
Baystreet (2018), Canadian Grocer Testing ‘Scan-and-Go’ Technology To Combat Higher Minimum Wage, http://www.baystreet.ca/stockstowatch/3009/Canadian-Grocer-Testing-Scan-and-Go-Technology-To-Combat-Higher-Minimum-Wage
TheMotmeyFool (2018), Canadian Grocers: Amazon.com, Inc. Started Delivery in the U.S. This Week!, https://www.fool.ca/2018/02/09/canadian-grocers-amazon-com-inc-started-delivery-in-the-u-s-this-week/
Huffingtonpost (2018), Metro se tourne vers les nouvelles technologies et les caisses en libre-service, http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/30/metro-se-tourne-vers-les-nouvelles-technologies-et-les-caisses-en-libre-service_a_23348291/
TVA (2018), Metro se prépare à la hausse du salaire minimum, http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2018/01/30/metro-se-prepare-a-la-hausse-du-salaire-minimum-1