manager. A leading market research
group has also given high grades to SPAR Austria:
SPAR’s employees for competence and facts and figures
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
40 report | FEBRUARY 2008
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