When ICA Supermarket Åsa in Sweden had its Vensafe vending machines installed it was a part of the working environment: to create a safer and more secure workplace for the staff. In addition, they also wanted to be able to offer customers a wider product range. Now, almost two years later, they can state that they have also gained more order in the store and more satisfied customers.
Anna Löwström is ICA-retailer and runs the grocery store ICA Supermarket Åsa. Working environment issues and staff safety are important for Anna and were part of the decision to purchase the Vensafe vending machines from StrongPoint.
Safer and more secure for cashiers
The store had for some time had problems with waste loss of tobacco products and in addition there was of course the possibility of imminent threat of robbery and burglary, where tobacco products particularly attractive.
“As a manager, it is of course important that the staff feel safe. It feels obvious to do what you can to minimise the vulnerability that the cashiers are exposed to and prevent theft and robbery in the checkout area. That was a very important aspect when we chose to purchase the Vensafe vending machines”, says Anna.
Satisfied customers with a wider product range
Another important factor for the decision was that the store with Vensafe had the opportunity to offer a larger range of tobacco products compared to when they stored the products on shelves above the checkouts, as Vensafe can accommodate significantly more products, at most 80 products and 1,600 items per vending machine.
At first, the customers needed some time to get used to the new arrangement and a small training effort was required from Anna and her employees. But it went smoothly, and the customers got used to it very quickly.
“Today, customers appreciate that we can keep a much wider range of products than before and are now so used to this type of vending machine that there are no problems at all,” says Anna. “Another advantage for both customers and staff is that we can keep an open environment in checkout line, something that is also appreciated by both customers and staff.”
From a purely economic point of view, it has been advantageous: the store has significantly lower shrinkage of tobacco products. Even if Anna has not yet calculated exactly how much money they save due to reduced shrinkage she knows it’s a significant amount.
When Anna is asked if she would recommend other retailers to get Vensafe, the answer came immediately flash:
“Yes, I would recommend Vensafe. The benefits are numerous, not least the security and safety it brings to the staff. When we had established routines for refilling the Vensafe machines, we have, in addition to other advantages, experienced that we have better order in the store. It’s also good financially with reduced shrinkage as a bonus.”