When IT Director, Skip Potter, drew up his “cashierless” c-store concept for Maplefields convenience stores, he took every opportunity to reduce “friction” for his customers – including friction from the forecourt.
“There’s a lot of functionality as to what you can turn off and turn on with Express Lane,” says Skip. “We wanted a system that could integrate with the forecourt and give customers another level of freedom to dictate their shopping experience.”
Taking Self-Service to the Next Level
Select Maplefields locations around Vermont and New York sell fuel straight from the self-checkout – prepay and post-pay. This allows a customer to enter the store, scan a few items, order food, and buy gas – all in one transaction.
“Express Lane is customizable, so it can fit into your c-store and make it function exactly how you want it to function,” Skip says.
Maplefields customers can buy anything in the store with Express Lane, including restricted items like tobacco and alcohol. Customers scan the alcohol or request tobacco products from behind the counter. Associates verify the customer’s age and add items to the basket, then the transaction is turned back over to the customer to finish and pay.
By simply turning checkout lanes into self-checkout lanes, one associate can help multiple customers at once, without compromising quality of service. Suddenly an understaffed store becomes a fully-staffed store, using the same manpower they’ve always had.
Go with the Flow
Special Projects Coordinator, Brian LaBrie constantly evaluates the flow at each store to maximize efficiency.
‘Being able to watch customers get in and out as effectively as possible, freeing up our associates, so we can maintain high cleanliness standards. That’s the epitome of Express Lane,” Brian says.
For hungry customers, Express Ordering kiosks are stationed by the kitchen, ready to take custom food orders. Once complete, a ticket is printed, which the customer then scans at the Express Lane self-checkout counter.
Food with a Side of Tech
“The foodservice program is equally as technology-driven as the rest of the store. The next natural progression will be integration with the forecourt, to allow drive-up ordering from the dispenser,” Skip says.
Skip won’t have to wait long. Since Maplefields is 100% EMV-compliant, its stores are equipped with high-speed connections that make food ordering possible. With the addition of 10.4 inch color screens or 15.6 inch touchscreens, Skip’s dream is right around the corner.
Passport Express Lane is a self-checkout system designed for c-stores – by c-store operators and Maplefields is prime example. No c-store operation is exactly alike. They all require different needs and strategies. Skip came to Gilbarco with a vision, and Gilbarco helped him achieve that vision.
“What Skip is doing with Maplefields is the future of C-stores,” said Gilbarco POS Product Manager, Scott Oakes. “Those stores run so smoothly because Skip and Brian have taken the time to understand their customers’ needs and make adjustments every day to keep them coming back.”
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