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Self-checkout hits the high street as Coles Myer trials the Fujitsu U-Scan system in two Victorian supermarkets

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Sydney, May 25, 2004

Self-service shopping may soon become a reality as retail giant Coles Myer begins a six-month trial of Fujitsu's U-Scan self-checkout system at Bi-Lo Fountain Gate and Coles Chadstone in Victoria.

The trial is the first time the nation's largest retailer has used self-checkout technology. The 'proof of concept' installations will be monitored to gauge system performance as well as customer and staff acceptance.

U-Scan allows shoppers to easily scan, bag and pay for their purchases using touch-screen menus and voice and text instructions to guide them through the process. Payment for goods is made using cash, EFTPOS or credit card. Cash withdrawals are also possible if an EFTPOS card is used.

Four self-scanning checkouts will be operational in both Bi-Lo Fountain Gate (May 24) and Coles Chadstone (May 27) and will be overseen by a supervisor who is able to offer assistance to customers if required.

"Coles and Bi-Lo are always looking for opportunities to introduce innovation that offers our customers greater choice and flexibility," said CML spokesperson Melissa O'Neill. "Self-checkout systems may be one way of enhancing the shopping experience."

"The trial is part of our commitment to continuous improvement, and will enable us to assess the feasibility of the technology and determine if it improves the level of customer service in-store."

Fujitsu acquired the U-Scan self-checkout technology business of Canada's Optimal Robotics for US$35 million in April (read the press release). The acquisition means Fujitsu has the largest installed customer base in the worldwide market for self-checkout systems. The company will now offer self-checkout solutions to grocery, convenience store and mass merchandise retailers of all sizes, enabling a broader spectrum of Australian retailers and customers to experience the convenience of self-service shopping.

Cheating the system is very difficult as it is intelligent enough to 'learn' about new product sizes, weights and other factors. The stations also incorporate built-in video cameras to enable a central operator to oversee multiple checkouts to provide customer service or security support.

"Self-checkout has been very well accepted overseas by retailers and their customers," says Marcus May, General Manager Retail at Fujitsu Australia. "We expect the expansion of self-checkout systems worldwide to be replicated in Australia, and believe every major supermarket chain in the country will offer at least four self-checkout facilities in many of their stores over the next couple of years."

Shipments of self-checkout systems will grow by about 95 per cent in 2004, with the market exceeding US$1.3 billion in 2005, according to US market research firm IHL Consulting Group*. IHL estimates that U-Scan systems account for around 40 per cent of self-checkout lanes in North America.

(* IHL Market Study: Retail Self-Checkout Systems in North America, 2003)

About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu is a full service provider of information technology and communications solutions. Throughout Australia and New Zealand we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu has earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations.

About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, highly reliable computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts uniquely position Fujitsu to deliver comprehensive solutions that open up infinite possibilities for its customers' success. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003.
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About Coles Myer

Coles Myer is Australia's largest retailer with more than 2,500 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company operates Bi-Lo Supermarkets, Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express Service Stations, Harris Technology, Kmart, Kmart Tyre and Auto Service, Liquorland, Liquorland Direct, Megamart, Myer, Officeworks, Shopfast, Target, Theo's Liquor, Quaffers and Vintage Cellars.

Gillian Lamrock

Phone: Phone: +61 (2) 9776 4799
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Fujitsu Australia Limited

Melissa O'Neill

Phone: Phone: +61 (03) 9829 3486
E-mail: E-mail: melissa.o'
Company:Coles Myer

Date: 25 May, 2004
City: Sydney
Company: Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand