El Trébol adopts Toshiba self-checkout technology

  • July 5, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Japanese company Toshiba is creating a more agile and convenient shopping experience for customers of the Supermarkets El Trébol chain in Chile.

Toshiba’s self-checkout system is now available at the 30-store family business, one of the most recognised local supermarket chains in the country’s La Araucanía region.

Its owners are committed to nurturing a strong relationship with shoppers through service and innovation, driving their collaboration with Toshiba and its partner Rhiscom, which specialises in delivering services for the retail industry in Latin America.

“Retailers in Chile must remain dynamic and flexible to adapt to customer shopping trends regarding technology, service and store standards,” said Xavier Amar, administration and finance manager at El Trébol. “Our consumers are sophisticated, and they have come to expect better service in terms of payments, automation and self-checkout. Our chain of stores initially focused on small towns within our region. As we grew, we saw the need to improve our standards and quality because we were competing with larger more established supermarket chains. The new self-checkout system is now a standard and preferred option for our shoppers, and the response has been very positive.”

Toshiba’s Self Checkout System 7 units have improved service capacity across El Trébol’s stores, offering a fast and easy-to-use payment alternative for shoppers. The self-checkout system has improved wait times in light of recent labour shortages. Since the lanes are always open and available for use, it reduces long queues while facilitating physical distancing requirements during the pandemic.

In the meantime, El Trébol credits the recent upgrades in stores featuring self-checkout with an increase averaging more than 100 daily visitors in some stores and 25 per cent of self-checkout usage, with some stores reaching 47 per cent through self-checkouts.

El Trébol continues to implement the technology across its chain of 30 stores, with openings planned in the Los Lagos region and prospects for future stores featuring a higher density of self-checkout lanes, or possibly all self-checkout lane stores.

“We are very pleased with the customer reaction and overall adoption of using our System 7 Self Checkout System in the El Trébol Stores,” said Bill Campbell, senior vice president at Toshiba. “Being one of the first, multi-store implementations of the Toshiba self-checkout system in Chile, the company leadership, its shoppers and our business partner Rhiscom have quickly embraced the technology and are exceeding the original assumptions of their shoppers using the system. We look forward to expanding and growing with El Trébol as they continue to innovate, supporting regional consumer needs and expectations.”

Each market presents unique dynamics for implementing chain-wide technology upgrades, and Toshiba worked with its distributor partner Rhiscom to address challenges unique to the region.

Regarding the implementation, Amar said: “Collaboration with our development company was essential for the integration. Our footprint includes remote towns requiring sound logistics. We felt supported by the Toshiba and Rhiscom team, who was always there to answer our call and troubleshoot with next-day or same-day support. We look forward to continued collaboration with Toshiba and Rhiscom to support the future of our stores.”

Since 1998, Rhiscom has been committed to being a partner specialising in services for the retail industry in Latin America, developing an international presence to be closer to customer expectations and better understand their needs.

Supermarkets El Trébol is a family business that started its activities in 1999 in Vilcún, a city in the Araucanía region. It started at a time when regional chains in Chile were being absorbed by large corporations, but with hard work and a lot of learning, today it has 30 stores from Los Angeles to Valdivia and plans four more stores in Los Lagos, Puren, Chillan and Santa Cruz. It has 2000 active employees, who are divided between the logistics centres, store operators, patisseries and bakeries.