Last weekend, my roommates and I went shopping to a hyper store. Hyper stores are unlike normal supermarkets, in a way that they have approximately 20 billing counters, and each of them has five people waiting in line, having 40 items each. If it takes one hour to shop, it takes another hour to finish billing and get out. Let’s not even get to the scene where you have less than ten items, and the two dedicated counters for less than ten items have 20 people standing in each line. This isn’t a unique scenario. This is how it works in every hyper store, be it Star Bazaar, Reliance Mart or HyperCity.
But why do people still go to these big stores over a Spencer’s or Nilgiris? Because, it’s a one stop shop: you go in and return with a cart containing everything on your shopping list. Except in Star Extra; where you don’t find pens or even FeviKwik and it gets annoying.
To beat this system, we started looking for some kind of self checkout app on the App Store, and found Perpule. They had tied up with HyperCity stores across Bangalore, and the nearest store wasn’t too far from our home so we decided to go for it. First look of the App gives encouragement. The list of partnered stores come up and the one we are in comes on top of the list based on the location. It’s got a bar code scanner, which we made use of to scan any item we picked up and added to the app’s cart and our real basket. If the overall count is less than 5 items, we’re allowed to just pay, show the digital receipt to the security at the exit gate, and leave. Else, we take it to a Perpule guy who sits next to the normal billing counters, and he validates them. I guess that’s just a security measure.
One issue we found was, the deeper we go into the Mart, the poorer the phone signal gets. This is constant throughout any hypermarket across the city. But we still managed to add items to the cart. Overall, this is something I’d use again to beat the crowd in these stores on a weekend. Let’s hope they get other stores under them quickly. This App can be a good solution to long queues. We need to wait and watch.