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Iowa-based grocery chain Hy-Vee has rolled out a "scan and go" option at 11 Minnesota stores, allowing customers to pay for their shopping without having to go to a register.

The new method of shopping sees customers download the Hy-Vee app and then use their phone's camera to scan items – include produce which they weigh themselves. 

They then scan a QR code at a kiosk near the exit where they can bag their goods, and pay for their shopping via the app.

The Iowa retailer first trialed "scan and go" last fall, and has recently expanded the pilot to dozens of its Midwest stores – including 11 in Minnesota.

They are: 

  • Austin - 1307 18th Ave NW
  • Cottage Grove - 7280 E Point Douglas Rd S
  • Eagan - 1500 Central Park Commons Drive
  • Lakeville - 16150 Pilot Knob Road
  • Mankato #2 - 2010 Adams Street, Mankato
  • Rochester #1 - 500 Crossroads Drive SW
  • Rochester #2 - 500 37th Street NW
  • Rochester #3 - 1315 6th Street NW
  • Rochester #4 - 4221 W Circle Drive NW
  • Savage - 6150 Egan Drive
  • Shakopee - 1451 Adams Street South.

This represents around a third of Hy-Vee's total stores in Minnesota.

Hy-Vee argues that the scan-and-go option offers more convenience for its busy customers.

However, other grocery stores that have experimented with the technology have had some problems.

It was reported last month that northeastern grocery store chain Wegman's was scrapping its mobile checkout option – which it launched in 2019 – due to rising shoplifting.

"Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state,” the company said in a statement reported by CNN

"We’ve made the decision to turn off the app until we can make improvements that will meet the needs of our customers and business.”

It comes amid a wider debate about checkouts in the modern grocery world, with the rise of app-based payments following the introduction of self-checkouts and a reduction in employee-manned registers.

An article by Winsight Grocery Business notes that many retailers believe that cashierless stores will become more and more common over the coming years, though it's likely that the majority will continue to offer a mixture of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts.

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