K-CITYMARKET OY PRESS RELEASE 04.10.2011 AT 14.00
K-citymarket Iso Omena in Matinkylä, Espoo is experimenting with a slow-track checkout (dubbed "Elä hättäile" in Finnish). The checkout is aimed for elderly people, mentally disabled people, or any customers who want their shopping visit to be more relaxed. The slow-track checkout process is adapted to the customer's pace, there is time for some conversation and customers can wait for their turn sitting in an armchair.
- We got the idea of an unhurried checkout operation from a user survey which examined the everyday needs of mentally disabled youths living in Espoo. The survey results showed that on one hand, a shopping visit was the highlight of their week, while on the other hand, it was a very pressurised situation in a cognitive and physical sense. For many, the hectic nature of everyday social activities can be crucial for coping independently in the community, says the experiment user researcher and Industrial Designer Sara Ikävalko of Aalto University.
The pilot experiment is being conducted by Aalto University's MIND research group, comprising, in addition to Sara Ikävalko, researchers Reetta Maila and Jussi Ekqvist. The purpose is to observe and monitor the launch of the slow-track checkout, the staffs' and customers' responses and to consider further development.
- It was natural for us to join the project. We have also contributed to the introduction of the Omena Shopping Centre Hostess service, featuring a person to assist and guide elderly people from one store to another. This experiment is a good continuation of the service. Moreover, it seems that many other customer groups would also appreciate a more relaxed checkout operation. Small children, for example, like to sit in the armchairs while their parents pay at the checkout, says K-citymarket retailer Toni Pokela.
At the slow-track checkout, the checkout assistant provides service to customers according to their needs throughout the checking-out process from putting goods on the checkout belt, payment and packing.
Retailer Toni Pokela, K-citymarket Iso Omena, tel. +358 40 547 8346
Researcher Sara Ikävalko, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 532 1245
A K-citymarket is a hypermarket. It offers customers diverse and wide selections of foods, non-foods, and home and speciality goods. The affordable price level and topical selections of K-citymarkets strengthen the customer promise 'Good shopping. And a whole lot more.' The K-citymarket chain is growing and developing intensively. There is currently 73 K-citymarkets in Finland. www.k-citymarket.fi
The MIND platform is utilised by Aalto University researchers, consultants and customer companies in order to co-create industry convention-challenging service innovations. The platform is also used for studying the birth mechanisms of these innovations and the barriers for executing them. http://www.mindspace.fi/about-mind/