A trend in the supermarket industry, self-check machines - where the customer passes, pays and puts products in the bag, thus excluding the need for a cashier - are gaining space in Criciúma and region. In the city, at least three companies use the new technology, already used abroad and present strongly in other regions of the country and the state. The evolution excites customers in search of reducing time in stores and supermarkets that aim to reduce the queues.
Last month, for the first time, a large supermarket store in the Centro de Criciúma implemented the service, with six machines on which the customer himself carries out the operations. The technology has been used in the municipality since 2018, in another network that serves more peripheral regions of the city. According to the Regional Vice President of the Southern Association of Supermarkets of Santa Catarina (Acats), Nazareno Dornelles, the service should cover new stores and cities in southern Santa Catarina.
"It is a trend that this service extends to other stores in the region. Supermarkets tend to use innovation and technology a lot, this is the way. Times and consumption habits are different, customers have less time and supermarkets offer these services for greater agility and convenience ", he explained.
In a supermarket in Próspera, where the self checkout machine has been in operation for two years, management estimates that 400 of the nearly 2,500 customers spend their daily shopping on the two machines provided by the store. Eduardo Fernandes, 23 years old, is one of the customers who opts for the service, even during a less busy time at the supermarket.
"I always try to use the machine, the average purchases I usually spend here, I use debit cards and I pass directly. It's much faster, there's less queue. I don't mind having to pass the products and pack," he says. Generally, young audiences are more receptive to change and end up using technology more. "Older people generally have more difficulties, there was a lady who asked me to help her use it, she passed the products on and when it was time to pay she gave me a R $ 50 bill, only that the machine accepts only cards", she says the store manager, Bruno Miguel Fernandes.
Eduardo, (client) says that he also had problems with the machine, but admits that it was possibly caused by misuse. He projects that consumers will increasingly have self-checkout available. "I believe that in the future the trend is unfortunately to have less manpower and more technology", he points out.
This is one of the concerns that the use of technology brings. The vice president of Acats denies that the sector can go through layoffs or even reduce operating costs with self checkout machines. However, the president of the Trade Union of Criciúma, Gelson Gonçalves, projects that there may be a decrease in job vacancies, either with future dismissals or the non-replacement of employees who ask to leave.
"There are already in several companies from abroad that use this technology, as in Florianópolis in a supermarket that has had the ATM for more than a year. So it goes. The trend I think is this, of the use of these ATMs. there is nobody to serve at gas stations, for example. This can also get here. It ends up having fewer employees and more profits for the company ", he says. He concludes that so far the reflection of a possible drop in the number of jobs has not been felt in the region. "For now, there is nothing, but it can lead to dismissed boxes in the future".
On the other hand, Acats is enthusiastic about the use of technology. "Acats honors, agrees and encourages supermarkets to employ this service for consumers, to provide more agility and comfort for consumers," concluded Nazareno.
Inside the store next to the traditional cashiers, the self checkout machines are distributed in the same environment. The customer, usually with the basket, places the products on a bench next to the barcode reader system. On a touch screen, he requests to start the service. Then, pass a product through the reader and place it on another bench, on the left side, where there is a scale.
The barcode indicates the weight of the product and the machine only releases it so that a new product is passed by the reader when the scale marks the weight of the product previously passed. This is a system's anti-fraud mechanism. At the end of the operation of passing the bar codes, the customer makes the payment with the card, puts the products in the bag and releases the machine for the next one.