Commissary shoppers enjoy life in ‘Fast Lane’

Sheri Byrd
Contract writer

***image1***Customers at Vogelweh Commissary can now scan, bag and pay for their own groceries, with the new Fast Lane self-checkout system. Ramstein customers will be able to do the same as of Thursday.
“The Defense Commissary Agency is simply leveraging technology to bring greater service and convenience to our customers,” said Kay Blakley, DECA Europe consumer advocate.
Shoppers can pay with cash, credit or debit card at any of the four Fast Lanes at Vogelweh Commissary. Ramstein Comm-issary will also have four of the self-checkout stations.
It will be especially useful for lunchtime Grab-N-Go shoppers, because of the quick in and out cycle time the self check-outs offer, Mrs. Blakely said.
Currently customers are limited to 15 items per checkout in the Fast Lanes, but this may increase in the future, she added.
In case customers have any difficulty with the system, the self check-out lanes will always be attended by a commissary cashier who will check ID cards and assist customers if needed. Each transaction completed on any of the four self check-out stands is visible on the screen at the cashier’s station, so help is immediately available.
“The self check-outs are so user friendly, however, that once customers have used them a time or two, problems should be few and far between,” said Mrs. Blakely.
Bagger service is also available to self check-out users just as it is for patrons using the full service line. Customers must ask, however, for the service to be provided.
“The system seems very popular so far,” said Mrs. Blakley. “The feedback from our store managers is that there were long lines over the initial weekend of operations. Customers were anxious to try it for themselves.”
Self check-outs have been installed in three stateside commissaries so far. Vogelweh Commissary was the first in Europe to get the new feature.
There are a total of 20 self check-out modules to be installed worldwide, and European commissaries can expect at least one more store to acquire the new technology in the near future.