In 2011 shipments of self-checkout terminals grew to a high of 26,700 – seven times the number shipped a decade earlier. Moreover, RBR forecasts that by 2017, annual shipment numbers will be approaching 60,000. These are some of the findings of new research by London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR (www.rbrlondon.com/retail
Such figures mask marked regional variations, however. North America replaced western Europe as the largest region for self-checkout shipments in 2011, accounting for 41% of the global total. This indicates that North America has finally shrugged off some of the longer lasting effects of the economic recession to regain its traditional place in this market. The USA started piloting self-checkout in the 1990s and by 2003 it was already in widespread use there. It is now deployed at two thirds of points of sale in US supermarkets, and at least a quarter of supermarket transactions are now conducted at self checkout.
While North America, western Europe and Asia-Pacific still account for the vast majority (98%) of installations, there have also been some interesting developments elsewhere. These include the first self checkout installations in the Arab world (in Saudi Arabia), and an eight-fold increase in shipments to CEE, albeit from a low base. While Poland and the Czech Republic were the main recipients of the shipments to this region, the renewed activity in Russia was also significant. More interest in self checkout was also witnessed in Latin America. One large and influential retailer, which had previously taken the decision not to deploy self-checkout, made a complete about face and staged a pilot, which is likely to become a rollout later this year. This is expected to boost confidence in self-checkout elsewhere in the region.
and Fujitsu see significant increases in self-checkout shipments
is still the world’s largest vendor of self-checkout terminals, accounting for 64% of global shipments in 2011. Wincor Nixdorf saw its share of world shipments jump from 12% to 16%, while Fujitsu witnessed an increase in market share from 10% to 13%. IBM is the smallest of the large self-checkout vendors, with 5%.
There are at least nine further vendors of self-checkout systems, although their combined share of global shipments amounts to just 2%. Moreover, further vendors, like HP
which presented its new self-checkout machine at Retail’s BIG Show in New York in early 2012, are likely to start selling such systems in the near future.
Marketplace for self-checkout becomes increasingly fragmented
These days “traditional” self-checkout – where the consumer scans, bags and pays unassisted – has to compete with a mix of technologies, including cashless self-checkout, compact self-checkout, and pay towers (where the payment part of the process has been decoupled from the scanning) with, or without, self-scanning to name but a few. Most vendors are now offering small-footprint terminals in order to attract space-poor sectors like convenience stores. Cashless terminals are substantially cheaper than recyclers, for example, and may be more attractive to retailers with smaller margins. While some retailers maintain that scanning should always be performed by staff, others believe that self-scanning offers consumers greater convenience and more information on the products they buy, engendering increased loyalty.
The total number of self-checkout installations grew by 16% in 2011. There are now more than 150,000 systems installed around the world, a base which has doubled in size over the last four years. Furthermore, RBR forecasts that by 2017 the number of self-checkout installations will have doubled once again, to over 300,000.
The information in this press release draws on RBR’s new study Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2012, which comprises the findings of extensive primary and secondary research into the global market for retail automation hardware. The study describes the market for programmable EPOS and self-checkout terminals (units shipped and installed), and end-users’ expenditure. It also provides vendor shares (units shipped and installed). The study covers 52 country markets and four customer segments, and includes annual forecasts to 2017.
For more information visit www.rbrlondon.com/retail or email Mark GLOVER (email@example.com).
RBR is a strategic research and consulting firm with three decades of experience. It specialises in the areas of cards, payments and automation in the banking, retail and hospitality sectors. Based in London, RBR serves clients across more than 100 countries worldwide through premium research reports, consulting, newsletters and events.