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					  manager. A leading market research
  group has also given high grades to                SPAR Austria:
  SPAR’s employees for competence and                facts and figures
  friendly service.
      Supermarket employees are always               At the end of 2006, the SPAR Austria
  available to help customers at the two             Group had 1,592 stores in Austria and
  self-checkout terminals at EUROSPAR                728 in neighboring markets. Sales
  Kleinmünchen. They provide not only                were €8 billion, of which northern
  support for issuing shopping vouchers and          Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech
  receipts for returnable containers or regis-       Republic and Croatia accounted for
  tering goods without EAN (European Arti-           41 percent.

                                                     In 2007, the first Spar European Shop-   French food retailer Système U has
                                                     ping Center was opened. In addition      been testing a self-payment solution
                                                     to smaller Interspar supermarkets,       from Wincor Nixdorf at its supermar-
                                                     SPAR now operates 18 large shop-         ket in Herbignac in the western part
                                                     ping centers in and outside Austria.     of the country. After six months of
                                                                                              testing, store management is highly
                                                     In the food retail sector, SPAR has      satisfied with the results: cash han-
                                                     the following store types:               dling is much easier and more secure
                                                 C   SPAR grocery stores are typical          thanks to the new technology.
                                                     neighborhood grocery stores with
                                                     an average sales space of up to 400
                                                     square meters. They distinguish
                                                     themselves through their local pres-

  cle Number) codes, but also actively ap-       C
                                                     ence, with a special focus on fresh
                                                     foods and personal service.
                                                     SPAR supermarkets offer a wide
                                                                                              H      andling banknotes and coins is extremely
                                                                                                     expensive. It’s also time-consuming when
                                                                                              all the various tasks are included, such as sorting,
  proach shoppers hesitant to use the new            assortment of inexpensive food           counting, packing and recording the bills and
  self-checkout terminals by inviting them           products with a sales space up to        coins. Not only that, transporting money to the
  to see how the technology works.                   1,000 square meters.                     bank costs time and money, not to mention the
      Promintzer doesn’t view the self-ser-      C   SPAR gourmet specialty stores, now       fees that many banks now require for accepting
  vice terminals as a way to reduce person-          numbering 76, were acquired from         banknotes and coins. And if they detect counter-
  nel costs but rather as a means to present         Meinl in 2000.                           feit notes, then they’re likely to demand an extra
  SPAR Austria as a modern, technology-          C   EUROSPAR supermarkets, with a            charge.
  friendly company that is first and fore-           shopping space up to 2,500 square
  most interested in improving customer              meters, offer a broad assortment of
  service. The self-checkout technology is           fresh food products as well as a num-
  an excellent way to free store employees           ber of non-food products.
  from their stereotype roles as scanners        C   INTERSPAR supermarkets are largely
  and cashiers and allow them to become              located in shopping centers, offering
  shopping advisors.                                 more than 45,000 articles in a sales
      With the help of self-checkout termi-          space up to 3,000 square meters.
  nals, SPAR is making sure that shoppers
  don’t spend their snack break waiting in
  lines.                                  C

40 report |   FEBRUARY 2008
Exceeding expectations
    Moreover, cash handling is not without its se-
curity risks. These can include unintentional
cashier mistakes, theft and planned robberies. For   “Cashiers can laugh again.”
sure, there are plenty of reasons why retailers
should consider optimizing their cash handling
procedures and cash security measures.
    Système U is doing just this. Since June 2007,   “Super U” in Herbignac is the first
the retailer has been testing Wincor Nixdorf’s       supermarket in France to deploy self-
iCASH 10 terminal for banknote payments and          service cash payment terminals. Six
its iCASH 15 terminal for coin payments at its       months into the deployment, Système
“Super U” supermarket in Herbignac, on the           U managing director Alain Diserbeau
Guèrande peninsula. The terminals are controlled     provides a progress report.
by Wincor Nixdorf’s iCASH Manager software.
    The six-month progress report is encouraging     What systems have you installed at the           nearly 20 percent of the stress that
for Système U, a cooperative retail group that       checkout points in the Herbignac super-          cashiers face in performing their checkout
was established in 1894 and today includes           market?                                          tasks. Among other things, they need to be
more than 850 stores divided into three different    Since June 2007, the supermarket has been        constantly careful that their cash balance
types: supermarkets, hypermarkets and smaller        testing a number of different hardware and       is correct. The second goal is improved se-
shopping markets. Says Alain Diserbeau, manag-       software solutions, including the TP.net         curity. All removable cash drawers have re-
ing director of Système U (see full interview        software platform and the iCASH payment          placed by a solution that keeps cash in
below): “In my opinion, we have not only suc-        terminals. Particularly innovative is our de-    each POS terminal, thus minimizing the risk
ceeded in achieving our goals but also in exceed-    ployment of Wincor Nixdorf’s Cash Man-           of money being lost. And the third goal has
ing them.”                                       C   agement system on the POS terminals as           to do with hygiene, particularly in the bak-
                                                     well as the machines at the information          ing area. Here sales clerks no longer come
                                                     counter and in the bakery section. The           into contact with money.
                                                     checkout process is unchanged up to the
                                                     point where the cashier tells the customer       Have you reached your goals?
                                                     the amount to be paid. At this point, the        “In my opinion, we have not only succeed-
                                                     payment process has changed completely.          ed in achieving our goals; we have exceed-
                                                     Customers who want to pay in cash insert         ed them.” Our cashiers and customers are
                                                     coins and bills directly into the self-service   fully satisfied because all of them benefit
                                                     cash payment terminals and receive               from the new solution. In other words, our
                                                     change automatically without our employ-         staff has more time to support customers.
                                                     ees getting involved.                            And the decision to shift cash management
                                                                                                      to the back-office has created additional
                                                     What are your main objectives with               relief in the checkout zone. Equally impor-
                                                     self-service payment?                            tant, we’ve been able to make our entire
                                                     We have three goals. The first one is of a       cash circulation even more secure thanks
                                                     social nature. Cash payments account for         to the new solution.

                                                                                                                               RETAIL   | report 41

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