Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Mega technology at MegaMart

Published:Wednesday | December 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

Believe it or not, it might be possible to avoid long retail lines during the Christmas shopping season, especially if you have to fight your way to the checkout counter.

As a market leader that has changed retail shopping, MegaMart prides itself on maintaining First-World standards and have recently introduced mobile cashiers to its Waterloo Road location in anticipation of the bustling Christmas season.

According to Christopher Larmond, junior network systems technician at MegaMart, these mobile cashiers are, in fact, tablet computers that are integrated with a panel scanner and multi-link portable card machines.

The mobile cashier was conceptualised with the collective efforts of the company's information technology (IT) members, including Larmond, Karen Brown, Ashika Charan, Peter-Mark Ricketts, Orlando Beezer and Roger Williams, among others. It will see customers, especially senior citizens and civil servants, being assisted with their purchases while in the checkout line to ensure that their waiting time is minimised.

"We want to minimise the time that customers wait in the checkout line. The mobile cashier ensures less waiting time, reducing the checkout time by at least 60 per cent. The tablet can do any task that the regular cash register can perform. However, the only difference is that we do not accept cash during this process," Larmond said.

The Christmas season is known to have more customer traffic and, according to Larmond, the mobile cashier makes it more efficient and safer for customers. "Once we see the store getting packed, we will implement the mobile cashier. Customers in the check-out line who are using debit or credit cards can cash their items right on spot in a happier and friendly environment," he said.

The mobile cashier programme was launched just over one week ago and, according to Larmond, MegaMart customers love the new concept so far.

"We are working on a few minor glitches so we can roll out the next phase to our other stores," he said. MegaMart locations include 29 Upper Waterloo Road, St Andrew; Lot 101A-101B Catherine Hall, Montego Bay; Lot A-E Bridgeport, Portmore; and Mandeville.

Plans are also in place to utilise the mobile cashiers after the Christmas season. Larmond said during peak hours and on weekends, they will use the technology to reduce congestion and the waiting time for their customers.

Several years ago, MegaMart revolutionised the retail market, giving customers the opportunity to shop in a single multifaceted location which includes grocery, bakery, haberdashery, clothing, electronics, liquor, food court and a pharmacy, all under one roof. MegaMart also created the convenience of shopping until late, seven days per week, and 24-hour opening hours during the Christmas season - another first in the local retail market.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com