GB2307575A - Store checkout - Google Patents

Store checkout Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2307575A
GB2307575A GB9523977A GB9523977A GB2307575A GB 2307575 A GB2307575 A GB 2307575A GB 9523977 A GB9523977 A GB 9523977A GB 9523977 A GB9523977 A GB 9523977A GB 2307575 A GB2307575 A GB 2307575A
Authority
GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
store checkout
store
checked
means
customers
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB9523977A
Other versions
GB2307575B (en )
GB9523977D0 (en )
Inventor
Brian Keating
Neil Scott
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Safeway Stores PLC
Safeway Stores Inc
Original Assignee
* SAFEWAY STORES PLC
Safeway Stores Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07GREGISTERING THE RECEIPT OF CASH, VALUABLES, OR TOKENS
    • G07G1/00Cash registers
    • G07G1/0036Checkout procedures
    • G07G1/0045Checkout procedures with a code reader for reading of an identifying code of the article to be registered, e.g. barcode reader or radio-frequency identity [RFID] reader

Abstract

In a store checkout system, customers scan their own purchases using portable scanning units (10) and the information about the scanned products is stored in the units. When the customer's purchases are complete the information in the unit (10) is downloaded into a controller (16) which decides on the basis of predetermined parameters whether the customer's purchases are to be checked. The decision by the controller (16) is printed on a receipt by a printer (20). Customers who are not to be checked are directed to a "fast-track" payment point (22). Customers to be checked are directed to a separate "re-scanning" checkout (24) and thereby do not delay those customers whose purchases are not to be checked.

Description

DESCRIPTION STORE C.- iCKOUT SYSTEM ASa METHOD The present Invention relates to store checkout systems and methods and in particular to such systems and methods which are used in conjunction with customer self-scanning facilities.

In stores offering a customer self-scanning facility, instead of the bar codes of selected products being scanned by an assistant, selected customers are permitted to scan the bar codes of their own products themselves. In such an arrangement a shopper identifies himself or herself by means of pass card and is issued with a han(i-held laser scanner. The shopper then selects the desired products from the shelves and become placing the products in a trolley scans the bay code printed thereon. T;ne identity and price of the product are stored in the hand-held scanner and, optionally, the price of the scanned product and the running total of products selected can be displayed.

Once the customer has selected the required goods, the scanner is plugged into a base station whereupon the identity of the custcmer and the identity and price of the products selected is automatically downloaded into a store computer and a printer is arranged to issue a ticket bearing the total price of self scanned goods, both in normal characters and in machine-readable bar code form and also bearing a customer identification as part of the bar code.The shopper then approaches a checkout which is designated as a "self-scanning" checout whereupon an assistant scans the bar code on the printed ticket which causes the computer to access the information downloaded from the hand-held scanner resulting in the printing of a conventional receipt identifying each product and the :rice thereof and the total amount payable. The shopper can then pay for the products purchased.

In this way, it is not necessary for a shopper to unload and reload a trolley, which is much more convenient and also saves a great deal of time at certain designated checkouts. Of course, shoppers not issued with a hand-held scanner are still able to shop in the conventional way, whereupon each product is scanned indiuldually by an assistant at the checkout.

Although customer self-scannng facilities are normally only made available to t::ustworthy customers t is nevertheless necessary for checks to be made to reduce the incidence of incorrect usage of the facility either intentionally or unintentionally. The self-scanning facilities presentl:/ in operation achieve this by deciding on the basis of predetermined parameters and/or at random which customers are to be checked. At the designated self-s=anning payment point after the bar code on the printed ticket has been scanned, the store control system indicates whether that particular customer's purchases are to be re-scanned by a member of staff.This information is displayed usually to te assistant scanning the ticket and the customer is told verbally whether or not they are to be checked. If the customer is not to be checked the procedure as outlined above is followed and the customer pays the amount indicated on the ticket. If the system has decided that the customer is to be checked then an assistant re-scans all of the products in the customers basket before payment can be made.

The potential problem with the above system arises in that al self-scanning customers are directed to the same checkout or group of checkouts and no differentiation is made between them until an assistant advises a customer verbally that his or her purchases are to be checked. Thus, there may weLl be a queue of self-scanning customers at the same checkout. If the first person in the queue is selected as a customer whose purchases are to be checked and the computer decides that the remaining customers in the queue are not to be checked then the non-checked customers neverthelesr, will be delayed by a checking procedure applied to the first person in the queue. This obviously defeat; the main object of a self-scanning system which. is intended to avoid the delays associated in scanning each product individually at the checkout.

Thus an abject of present invention to provide a store checkout system and method which will overcome the aforementioned problems.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention a store checkout system comprises: a plurality of portable scanning units adapted to read product bar codes and store the information read from the bar codes; means for downloading infornation retained in .he portable scanning units to a =tore controller; discrimination means for determining whether a particular customer's purchases are to be checked; printing means for printing a receipt in response to downloading of the information from the portable scanner and for indicating whether or not a purchaser is to be checked and the total value of scanned goods;; one or more payment points for non-checked customers for paying the total value of goods scanned and one or more separate customer checkouts comprising further scanning means for scanning the purchases of customers to be checked.

The criteria for determining whether a customer's purchases are to be checked can vc,ry widely. For example, if the portable scanners are able to store information concerning the identity of the customer, the control means maybe adapted to decide that a particular customer is to be chewed on the basis of te previous purchase history of that customer (for example if the total purchasers consistently exceed a predetermined level) and/or if the scanned total exceeds a predetermined value andXor on a random selection. These criteria are only examples and many other criteria can be specified.

Preferably, the printing means is adapted to print the identity of the customer in machine readable form, preferably as part of a bar code.

Preferably, the printing means is adapted to print the total of self-scanned goods in machinereadable form (e.g. as a bar code). In the case of non-hecked customers this total -an then be scanned by an assistant and payment made by the customer. In the case of a checked customer the self-scanned total as read by the further scanner can be checked against total value of goods as checked by a store assistant.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention a store checkout method for a store having a self-scanning facility comprising a plurality of portable scanners for scanning bar codes on products to be purchased and means for downloading the information stored in the scanners comprises downloading from a scanner the details of the products scanned by a purchaser, determining whether the purchases are to be checked, printing a receipt with information as to whether or not the customers purchases are to be checked and details of the total value of scanned goods, directing non-checked customers to a first checkout location where the total value of the self-scanned goods is paid and directing customers to be checked to a second checkout location where purchases are re-scanned by a store assistant.

By way of example only, a specific embodiment at the present invention will now be described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which..

Fig. 1 is a schematic representation of an embodiment of store checkout system in accordance with the present invention; Fig. 2 illustrates a receipt issued to a customer whose products are not to be checked; and Fig. 3 illustrates a receipt issued to a customer whose products are to be checked.

A self-scanning store checkout system is generally conventional in nature and comprises a plurality of portable hana-held ba: code laser scanners 10 held in an issuing unit 12 which can be issued to selected customers upon presentation of an identity card. The card is normally provided with customer information in the form ot an magnetic strip and when the card is swiped through a card reader 14 the customer details are checked b a store controller (computer) 16 and if acceptable tha hand-held scanner 10 is released to the customer.

The customer then selects the desired products and, before placing them into a basket, scans the bar code on each one using the hand-held scanner. When the customer has completed his or her purchases the hand-held scanner 10 is plugged into a downloading base unit 18 whereupon all of the information stored in the scanner is downloaded into the store computer system 16.

The store computer system 16 then indicates whether that particular customer's purchases are to be re-scanned and checked by a store assistant. This can be done on the basis of one or moe criteria. For example, if the store computer is able to keep a record of that customer's purchasing history then the determination of whether checking is to take place can be made on the basis of that history. For example, if a customers bill typically does not exceed 40 and if the present purchase exceeds 75 the store controller may determine that the customer's purchases are to be checked. Alternatively, or in addition, the store controller may automatically determine that any purchases above a predetermined limit of, say, 100, ought to be checked.Alternatively, or in addition, the store controller may be arranged to select customers randomly for checking.

The above criteria are merely a few examples of the many criteria which can be used to select customers to be checked and many other criteria can be selected instead or in addition.

The system, which has a printer 20 to print the self-scanned total bcth in normal script and in a machine-readable bar code form (which also identifies the customer) also prints on the receipt whether or not the customers purchases are to be checked. In Fig. 2 the foot of the label indicates to a customer that his or her purchases are not to be checked. The receipt also directs the customer to a '5fast-track' payment point 22 whereupon the customer hands over the receipt to an assistant who scans the receipt and the customer then pays the appropriate total.

Fig. 3 illustrates a printed receipt issued by the printer 20 to a customer whose purchases are to be checked. In addition to printing the self-scanned total in normal script and in a machine-readable bar code (which also identifies the customer) the foot of the receipt also informs the customer that the purchases are to be checked and directs the customer to a designated re-scanning checkoiit 24 which is equipped with a further bar code laser scanner 26 to be operated by a store assistant iTl the conventional manner in order that the self-scanning total may be checked with the actual vale of products purchased.

The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiment.

Claims (22)

CLAIMS 1. A store checkout system comprising: a plurality of portable scanning units adapted to read product codes and store the information read from the codes; means for downloading information retained in the portable scanning units to a controller; discrimination means for determining whether a particular customer's purchases are to be checked; printing means for printing a receipt in response to downloading of the information from the portable scanner and for indicating whether or not a purchaser is to be checked; one or more payment points for non-checked customers for paying the total value of goods scanned; and one or more separate customer checkouts comprising further scanning means for scanning the purchases of customers to be checked. 2. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printing means also prints the total value of scanned goods. 3. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising means for identifying the customers to whom the portable scanning units are issued. 4. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the identifying means comprises means for reading information stored on an identification card. 5. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the identifying means comprises a card reader for reading information stored on a magnetic strip. 6. A store checkout system as claimed in any of claims 3 to 4, wherein the printing means is adapted to print the identity of the customer in machinereadable form. 7. A store checkout system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the printing means is adapted to print the total value of self-scanned goods in machine-readable form. 8. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the machine-readable form comprises a bar code or part of a bar code. 9. A store checkout system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the product codes comprise bar codes. 10. A store checkout method for a store having a self-scanning facility comprising a plurality of portable scanners for scanning codes of products to be purchased and means for downloading the information stored in the scanners, comprising: downloading from a scanner the details of the products scanned by a purchaser; determining whether the purchases are to be checked; printing a receipt with information as to whether or not the customer's purchases are to be checked; directing non-checked customers to a first checkout location where the total value of the selfscanned goods is paid; and directing customers to be checked to a second checkout location where purchases are re-scanned by a store assistant. 11. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 10, further comprising printing details of the total value of scanned goods. 12. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 10 or claim 11, wherein customers to whom the portable scanning units are issued are identified. 13. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 12, wherein customers are identified by means of information stored on an identification card. 14. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 13, wherein the information is stored on a magnetic strip on a card. 15. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 10 to 14, wherein the identity of the customer is printed on the receipt in machine-readable form. 16. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 10 to 15, wherein the total value of selfscanned goods is printed on the receipt in machinereadable form. 17. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the machine-readable form comprises a bar code or part of a bar code. 18. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 10 to 17, wherein the product codes comprise bar codes. 19. A store checkout system substantially as herein described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings. 20. A store checkout method substantially as herein described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings. Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows
1. A store checkout system comprising: a plurality of portable scanning units adapted to read product codes and store the information read from the codes; means for downloading information retained in the portable scanning units to a controller; discrimination means for determining whether a particular customer's purchases are to be checked; printing means for printing a receipt in response to downloading of the information from the portable scanner and for indicating whether or not a purchaser is to be checked; one or more payment points for non-checked customers for paying the total value of goods scanned; and one or more separate customer checkouts comprising further scanning means for scanning the purchases of customers to be checked.
2. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the printing means also prints the total value of scanned goods.
3. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising means for identifying the customers to whom the portable scanning units are issued.
4. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the identifying means comprises means for reading information stored on an identification card.
5. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the identifying means comprises a card reader for reading information stored on a magnetic strip.
6. A store checkout system as claimed in any of claims 3 to 4, wherein the printing means is adapted to print the identity of the customer in machine-readable form.
7. A store checkout system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the printing means is adapted to print the total value of self-scanned goods in machine-readable form.
8. A store checkout system as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the machine-readable form comprises a bar code or part of a bar code.
9. A store checkout system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the product codes comprise bar codes.
10. A store checkout system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the discrimination means determines after down-loading of the information to a controller whether a particular customer's purchases are to be checked.
11. A store checkout method for a store having a self-scanning facility comprising a plurality of portable scanners for scanning codes of products to be purchased and means for downloading the information stored in the scanners, comprising: downloading from a scanner the details of the products scanned by a purchaser; determining whether the purchases are to be checked; printing a receipt with information as to whether or not the customer's purchases are to be checked; directing non-checked customers to a first checkout location where the total value of the self-scanned goods is paid; and directing customers to be checked to a second checkout location where purchases are re-scanned by a store assistant.
12. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 11, further comprising printing details of the total value of scanned goods.
13. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 11 or claim 12, wherein customers to whom the portable scanning units are issued are identified.
14. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 13, wherein customers are identified by means of information stored on an identification card.
15. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the information is stored on a magnetic strip on a card.
16. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 11 to 15, wherein the identity of the customer is printed on the receipt in machine-readable form.
17. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 11 to 16, wherein the total value of self-scanned goods is printed on the receipt in machine-readable form.
18. A store checkout method as claimed in claim 16 or claim 17, wherein the machine-readable form comprises a bar code or part of a bar code.
19. A store checkout method as claimed in any of claims 11 to 18, wherein the product codes comprise bar codes.
20. A store checkout method as claimed in claims 11 to 19, wherein the determination of whether the purchases are to be checked is made after the details of the products scanned by a purchaser have been down-loaded.
21. A store checkout system substantially as herein described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings.
22. A store checkout method substantially as herein described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings.
GB9523977A 1995-11-23 1995-11-23 Store checkout system and method Expired - Fee Related GB2307575B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9523977A GB2307575B (en) 1995-11-23 1995-11-23 Store checkout system and method

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9523977A GB2307575B (en) 1995-11-23 1995-11-23 Store checkout system and method

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9523977D0 GB9523977D0 (en) 1996-01-24
GB2307575A true true GB2307575A (en) 1997-05-28
GB2307575B GB2307575B (en) 1999-08-25

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GB9523977A Expired - Fee Related GB2307575B (en) 1995-11-23 1995-11-23 Store checkout system and method

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2336925A (en) * 1998-04-30 1999-11-03 Fujitsu Ltd Electronic shopping system
US6382357B1 (en) * 1998-12-14 2002-05-07 Ncr Corporation Retail system for allowing a customer to perform a retail transaction and associated method
EP0940786A3 (en) * 1998-03-02 2006-05-03 NCR International, Inc. Method for providing security and enhancing efficiency during operation of a self-service checkout terminal
WO2009062019A1 (en) * 2007-11-08 2009-05-14 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus for automated shopper checkout using radio frequency identification technology
US7873543B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2011-01-18 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for managing product purchase information over a network
US8152062B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2012-04-10 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Portable information terminal mountable on shopping cart and removable memory device usable with same
US9053615B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-06-09 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus pertaining to use of both optical and electronic product codes
US9984396B2 (en) 2014-07-31 2018-05-29 Walmart Apollo, Llc Method and system for customer checkout

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4071740A (en) * 1976-05-26 1978-01-31 Paul Gogulski Mobile automated shopping system

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4071740A (en) * 1976-05-26 1978-01-31 Paul Gogulski Mobile automated shopping system

Cited By (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0940786A3 (en) * 1998-03-02 2006-05-03 NCR International, Inc. Method for providing security and enhancing efficiency during operation of a self-service checkout terminal
US6123259A (en) * 1998-04-30 2000-09-26 Fujitsu Limited Electronic shopping system including customer relocation recognition
GB2336925A (en) * 1998-04-30 1999-11-03 Fujitsu Ltd Electronic shopping system
US6386450B1 (en) 1998-04-30 2002-05-14 Fujitsu Limited Electronic shopping system including customer relocation recognition
GB2336925B (en) * 1998-04-30 2002-07-24 Fujitsu Ltd Electronic shopping system
US6382357B1 (en) * 1998-12-14 2002-05-07 Ncr Corporation Retail system for allowing a customer to perform a retail transaction and associated method
US8152062B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2012-04-10 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Portable information terminal mountable on shopping cart and removable memory device usable with same
US9424589B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2016-08-23 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for enabling and managing ordering information within a network
US8571941B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2013-10-29 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for managing user information over a network
US7966228B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2011-06-21 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for enabling information management incorporating a personal computing device
US8001015B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2011-08-16 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for managing and displaying dynamic and static content
US7873543B2 (en) 2005-04-29 2011-01-18 Mercatus Technologies Inc. Systems and methods for managing product purchase information over a network
GB2470987A (en) * 2007-11-08 2010-12-15 Wal Mart Stores Inc Method and apparatus for automated shopper checkout using radio frequency identification technology
US8781908B2 (en) 2007-11-08 2014-07-15 Walmart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus for automated shopper checkout using radio frequency identification technology
WO2009062019A1 (en) * 2007-11-08 2009-05-14 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus for automated shopper checkout using radio frequency identification technology
US9053615B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-06-09 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus pertaining to use of both optical and electronic product codes
US9984396B2 (en) 2014-07-31 2018-05-29 Walmart Apollo, Llc Method and system for customer checkout

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB2307575B (en) 1999-08-25 grant
GB9523977D0 (en) 1996-01-24 grant

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20001123

728V Application for restoration filed (sect. 28/1977)
728Y Application for restoration allowed (sect. 28/1977)
732E Amendments to the register in respect of changes of name or changes affecting rights (sect. 32/1977)
PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20041123