Posted by: mchleen | July 27, 2009

Big changes at my local Giant and I like it!

ScanItI normally have issues with change. I like advance notice, time to prepare myself, a moment to digest before diving in to something new. I was enticed however when my local Giant grocery story announced their “Grand Opening” – odd I thought since they weren’t exactly new, having been open for years…

Thankfully however the changes weren’t earthshattering. The floor layout was the same; I didn’t have to relearn my way through the store in order to sniff out that always elusive little bottle of capers or vegetarian hotdogs. What did jump out at me though was the rack of digital handheld scanners (you know, like the ones you let your fiance use in order to bribe him into joining you in wedding registry nonsense?). The new “Scan It!” shopping system allows shoppers to scan their grocery order as they go along. The scanners are linked to the store’s central computer system.

Being one who loves to push buttons (my husband would content that I like to push his emotional buttons as well) and having a 2 year old in tow who also loves to push buttons (both kinds) I gave the system a try. I entered my Giant Bonus Card number skipped off with my designated scanner from the rack – and, as suggested, a fistful of shopping bags to bag my booty as I went.

I selected the item of purchase and Ava scanned it. Every once in a while a loud cash register chime sounded to announce daily store specials broadcast to me through the scanner. Ava loved that, jumping, squealing and laughing each time – ahhhh the thrills of childhood. The really great thing about this system (at least according to a frugal hausfrau like myself) is that as soon as an item is scanned the price is added to the running total, also displayed on screen. I need not tell you how helpful that is, especially when you are attempting to comply with budget designations!

In the produce and bakery areas you bag, weigh and scan your selections then print tags for them (the “Weigh It!” system as it is so cleverly named) much as the staff has always done for you in the deli. And speaking of the deli…when you initially pick up your scanner at the store’s entrance you can also enter your deli order, ending any wait time (bet you didn’t have to think too hard to guess that it’s called the “Order It!” system). Simply swing by the counter with your order number and they’ll have it ready for you. No more standing in line or waiting while watching them slice your meats/cheeses! Since the 5th grade when I watched Children of the Corn I cannot watch a deli slicer in use without anticipating horrific events involving much bloodspray.

Ready to check out? Use any register (regular, express, self), no matter how full your cart is. The system transfers your tally and all you have to do is shell out and walk away. Easy peasy pudding pie! So have fun, get your kids involved, or if you’re smart you’ll use this new technology much as you did during your engagment and get the husband to do the shopping – look honey! buttons and computers and handhelds that you can shoot stuff with! It’s a win/win.

P.S. OK but I have one question…how does Giant know that you’re not putting all kinds of extra unscanned stuff in your cart?? Black magic?

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