KENYA – Carrefour, one of Kenya’s most popular retail stores owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim, has become the first retail chain in Kenya to launch a self-checkout service, situated at its Nairobi Westgate Mall store.

The technology allows customers to shop and complete purchases without the assistance of cashiers at the cash counter, saving time and eliminating inconveniences caused by long queues.

Christophe Orcet, Regional Director – East Africa, Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said, “The self-checkout service underlines our ongoing commitment to creating seamless shopping experiences for all our customers through adopting global best practices and solutions. The innovative service will allow customers greater freedom, control, and convenience while shopping.”

Christophe Orcet, who has previously served as the head of operations and commercial for the MAF Carrefour in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took over the helm from Franck Moreau on March 1, 2023. Mr. Moreau has retired from the company after 23 years of serving in different capacities.

To access the service, customers can click ‘Start’ on the self-checkout counter’s digital screen, scan their items using the barcode reader, and complete the purchase by tapping on ‘Finish & Pay’.

The self-checkout lane accepts cashless payment options, including Mpesa, debit or credit cards, and MyCLUB loyalty points.

The service will be used by customers shopping fewer than 15 items and is expected to be rolled out in all Carrefour stores in the country following a successful pilot.

According to the 2019 Grand View Research report, the demand for self-checkout systems is expected to increase with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3 percent in marketplace value between 2020 and 2027.

The growth is supported by a Forbes 2021 State of Self-Checkout Experiences report, which showed that 60% of consumers prefer self-checkout options over cashier-assisted ones. 85% of respondents also reported that self-checkouts are faster than traditional checkouts.

Currently, Carrefour Kenya boasts 19 stores countrywide, with 15 located in Nairobi, while Kisumu and Mombasa are home to 2 stores each.

The retail has plans to open more outlets in Kenya and Uganda, where it operates in East Africa, as part of its aggressive expansion strategy in the regional market.

In Kenya, Carrefour competes with rivals such as Naivas and Quickmart -which has also been on an expansion trail fuelled by private equity investors.

Carrefour Kenya’s sales surged 25.8 percent to Sh32.9 billion (one billion Emirati dirham) in 2021 as it opened more branches and attracted more customers to its stores concentrated in Nairobi.

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