"Subito – the easy way to shop quickly" – this is the slogan Migros uses to advertise its solutions for shopping without traditional tills.
Migros is driven by the overriding objective to offer customers the best possible shopping experience. Queuing, also packing and unpacking purchases at the cash register, are among the most annoying aspects of shopping. This prompted Migros to join with partners such as Polygon back in 2009 to develop new solutions. This cooperation applied two concepts. In so-called 'self-scanning', customers use a hand-held scanner to scan purchases before placing them in the shopping cart or directly in their bags. All that customers are asked to do once they have finished shopping is to make cashless payment, entirely doing away with the tedium of queuing and placing the purchases on the belt and then back in the trolley. This saves a lot of time and enhances convenience, especially when making larger purchases. Customers can also use the 'self-checkout' terminals to scan and pay directly for smaller purchases. It only takes seconds. Service staff are on hand to provide assistance in all other cases. The system is extremely well-received. 8-20 % of customers use Subito, depending on the location and format, and the system accounts for 15-40 % of revenue, even rising to above 50 % in peak hours. The target throughput times have been shattered.
Polygon joined the project in 2010, contributing initial design studies for the payment modules in the 'self-scanning' and 'self-checkout' terminals. Then Polygon successfully developed a prototype. And finally, 80 terminals were produced and installed in selected branches in a large-scale pilot phase in 2011. Rollout spread to all larger branches thanks to the warm reception. Now, customers can use one or both of the Subito formats in 140 of the 700 branches, and an additional 2-3 locations are added weekly. In total, Polygon has produced over 900 stations. The engineering is based on Polygon's extensive expertise in a variety of manufacturing technologies, ranging from timber products to deep drawing technologies and metalworking procedures.
The design concept blends functional requirements with user-friendliness and a modular layout. And the system looks great, too. Curvaceous forms, welcoming colours and material highlights in stainless steel create a pleasant look whose difference to standard cash register zones could hardly be more eye-catching. This friendly atmosphere virtually draws customers to the pleasant ambience of the Subito self-service zone.
Migros was founded in 1925 and is now the largest retail company in Switzerland. The store operator is mainly present on the Swiss market, but does have a number of branches in Germany. Migros purchased tegut, a German food retailer, in autumn 2012. Revenue at Migros reached approximately SF27 bn. in 2013. The company employs a workforce of around 86,000.
"Polygon was dedicated and creative in implementing our ideas and in the process delivered outstanding design and durable products. Even challenging orders with tight schedules are executed punctually and in high quality. There are exceptional people working at Polygon; you can tell by their services. A big thank you for all of this – we picked the right partner!"
Head of E-POS, Migros IT-Services