Luis Andrade, Under Armour;
Michael Cape, Michael Cape Consulting;
Robert Higgins, Fossil Inc.; Chuck
Luckenbill, OfficeMax Inc.; Anthony
Mancini, Alex Cannon; Marc Riera,
Nike North America
Mitch Abbott; Bevan
Bloemendaal, The Timberland Co.
(Retail); Jackie Bonic, Liquor Control
Board of Ontario; Mark Brodeur,
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; David Curtis,
Crocs Inc.; Ray Ehscheid, Bank of
America; Joseph P. Flaherty, Macy’s
Inc.; Richard M. Geist, Uncle Sam’s
Army Navy Outfitters; Ignaz Gorischek,
The Neiman Marcus Group Inc.; Richard
Hamori, Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC);
James Harte, Bob’s Stores Inc.; David
Hicks, Canadian Tire Corp.; James
Hilyard, Performance Inc.; Brenda
Houston, Brenda Houston Design; Marc
Jamieson, TELUS; Rob Jordahl, Belk Inc.;
Tom Jowett, Bass Pro Shops; Danette
Kroll, Foot Locker Inc.; Brad Lenz,
Liz Claiborne Inc.; Paul O. Loux,
Sephora USA Inc.; Michael Mc Tamney,
The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack;
David Meekings, HAMLE YS; Al R.
Rodgers, Dollar Tree Stores Inc.; Paul
Schleef, Michaels Stores Inc.; David
Thomson, Le Chateau Inc.; Michael
Trowbridge, Limited Brands;
Bob Waddell, Limited Brands;
Bink E. Zengel, Luxottica Retail;
What do you think about
JCPenney’s plan to eliminate
traditional checkouts by the end of 2013?
Members of the Retail Environments network
respond to Business Insider’s article.
When it comes to my shopping habits, I would typically wait in a line for 10 minutes
rather than do self checkout without a line. How would mobile checkout help to combat shrink? To me, an employee wouldn’t know the difference between a shoplifter
and a paying customer and this strategy could cause customer service altercations.
— Marc Dunker, Advanced Cabinet Systems, Indianapolis
Personally, I like self checkout and use it whenever I can. If the purpose of check
lanes and POS are purely to transact customer purchases, then as long as the technology works and is reliable it could work. Especially if the labor savings are invested
back into salespeople who can help the customer find what they are looking for.
— David G. Kielly, Minneapolis
Eliminating the checkout line is a great step in making Penney’s stores more
customer friendly. Central checkout stations are dehumanizing and detract from
the image of stores like JCPenney. Having clerks who help the customer make the
shopping experience more satisfying.
— William Hilsmeier, Meier & Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz.
The JCP plan to use RFID tags on all merchandise is a big improvement over bar codes and bar code scanners. RFID tags do not have to be seen to be read. RFID tags can be read in any orientation and even when multiple tagged products are sealed inside a carton. And they can be changed or updated at any time in the supply
chain. They also help retailers dramatically reduce internal theft, improve inventory visibility, and
identify where shrink occurs within the supply chain. The downside has been the cost.
—Karen Schaffner, A.R.E.
I’d like to know more about how they plan to handle the mobile and self checkout. While I think the technology is great and will be exciting to see in stores, a cashier’s role is much more than to transact sales. They build rapport and provide customer service. I have worries that removing the cashiers from JCP will dehumanize the experience.
I’d like to see them at least repurposed as the only employees I typically see at JCP are the cashiers.
— Marc Dunker
WWD’s preview of the new store mock-up in Dallas includes this description of the personnel redeployment: “Penney’s of the future will also be rigged with the latest echnologies for mobile and self-checkouts, efficient reordering through RFID, and with what [Ron] Johnson says will be a better trained, people-oriented, and prod-uct-proficient staff. They’ll be equipped with handheld devices to speed checkouts and research
products, and will be ‘untethered’ to assist shoppers in different areas of the store. The traditional cashwrap stations with registers will be phased out by next year, and high-speed Wi-Fi
is being implemented beginning next month in Penney’s top 100 stores.”
— Karen Schaffner
The technologies sound exciting. They will definitely get me in the store.
— William Hilsmeier
These responses are excerpted from a Retail Environments Network discussion on LinkedIn.
See the original article, “JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson Wants to Eliminate the Person Standing at
the Cash Register,” by Kim Bhasin and posted July 18 at www.businessinsider.com. Then join the
debate and discussion on this topic—or start your own—in the Retail Environments Network.