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Smith's offers new app, short wait time at checkout

Published May 6, 2013 11:46 pm

Retail • Consumer-friendly updates boost competitiveness.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Attention, Smith's shoppers.

The Utah-based grocery chain has lowered prices on thousands of items, installed equipment to cut wait times at checkouts and is offering a mobile app that enables customers to download coupons.

The Smith's Food & Drug Stores app, available for both Android and iOS platforms for phones and tablets, allows shoppers to browse weekly ads, download coupons and recipes and refill prescriptions. The app also enables shoppers to read QR codes on products and determine how many points they've acquired for discounts on gasoline.

The app, which is free, also allows customers to create shopping lists and receive Facebook and Twitter updates.

Smith's also is promoting itself as having the shortest wait at checkouts — 28 seconds, on average. It uses infrared laser technology coordinated with in-store software. Heat-sensitive cameras interpret shopping time requirements so more checkout stands open during peak hours.

Shoppers who either don't have or forget their smart phones may use their loyalty cards or give clerks their telephone numbers at checkouts to accumulate discount points.

"We're offering an even more affordable shopping experience at Smith's," spokeswoman Marsh Gilford said. "We want today's customers to become customers for life. And we are making a huge investment throughout many areas of the store to accomplish this."

Smith's also has lowered the price on 20,000 items, with an emphasis on organic and natural foods. For instance, the price of Fage honey Greek yoghurt has decreased from $1.99 to $1.39. A 59-ounce carton of Florida Natural orange juice now costs $2.99, down from $3.49.

Other savings include $4 for a 30-day and $10 for a 90-day supply of prescriptions for more than 300 generic drugs.

Dave Davis, Utah Food Industry Association president, said people are relying more on their smart phones and mobile devices "and retailers who embrace that technology will have a competitive advantage over those who do not."

Smith's is a division of the Kroger Co. From its division office in Salt Lake City, Smith's operates 131 stores throughout seven Western states, including 47 in Utah.

dawn@sltrib.com

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Smith's Food & Drug Stores

Prices • Lower prices on 20,000 grocery items

Checkout • Average wait time is 28 seconds

Apps • Now available for Android and iOS platforms for phones and tablets to download coupons, refill prescriptions

Loyalty points • Earn discounts on gasoline using mobile app, cards or by giving your telephone number at the checkout