Too few Clerks in the store? How do you know?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Suzanne Kapner that highlighted a significant problem in retail today…

Too few Clerks.

As stores continue to cut labor costs, it appears many retailers have gone too far. Ms. Kapner does a good job of illustrating the symptoms of the situation and offers some different alternatives to help companies look at the problem from a different perspective. However, the article does not answer one very difficult question around understaffing…

How do you know?

The danger in much of what seems to be apparent in the situation is the tendency to compare past performance to judge current results. While it is true that retail staff has decreased in both absolute and relative terms, this in and of itself is merely a data point. There is no way to judge whether it is good or bad, it is simply different.

Let me explain…

The retail world has been disrupted significantly in the past ten years, to the point where comparisons to the past are no longer valid. What we do know is that shoppers are telling us the experience in the store is not up to their expectations. But, the shift to online shopping also tells us that the consumers are not willing to pay a premium for increased staffing. This apparent paradox forces us to answer a fundamental question…

How can I deliver a differentiated experience without incurring increased costs?

The first step is to understand the service proposition

Ms. Kapner is quite correct that drivers other than sales are critical to allocating labor appropriately, especially foot traffic. What is missing is the second half of the equation; How much time per traffic should I allocate for service and selling? For many retailers the payback for a high service level is simply not there. Many brands, even luxury brands, are self-service. For example, the role of the staff in these stores is often just to keep the shelves full and organized and to keep the store clean and visually appealing.

Understanding what customers value and the link between service and sales is essential. Undertaking detailed customer journey mapping exercises can help to determine this linkage, and this will dictate what standard should be applied for selling.

The second step is to not just allocate the right amount of staff, but to allocate the right kind of staff…

Retail has traditionally used low-wage, part-time workers to staff their stores. In the days when retailers were only competing against themselves for market share, this made sense. In today’s omni-channel environment this may not hold true.

For a retailer that differentiates based on expertise, service or experience, it is critical to understand first what a customer expects and is willing to pay for, then to decide what type of staff can consistently deliver on that level. In many cases, this will be a more skilled associate who is not willing to work only 16 to 20 hours per week. It may also mean that the same person that has the skillset to stock shelves efficiently may not have the skillset to engage with customers in a selling situation.

The third step is to understand not only the right amount and kind of staffing, but when to staff the store.

Technology can help. Through the application of engineered labor standards (including validated and deliberate service and selling standards) against known driver metrics with time stamps (like traffic). This can assist in forecasting the need for staffing throughout the day. The key is to be able to apply all three elements (amount, type and timing) consistently. Technologies like JDA™, Reflexis™, Kronos™, Dayforce™ and LaborPro™ and others can help retailers do this automatically.

The fourth step, is to ensure that all conditions for success are supported in the store…

This means having the training, tools, processes, technologies and supervision in place to constantly support the associates. Many retailers have deferred maintenance and upgrades to these elements over the years and it is a major undertaking to bring them up to par. This investment is necessary to provide the right experience in stores. Having plenty of associates that have all the right skills and are in place at the right time will not pay off if they don’t have the tools, training and guidance to be successful.

The final step to addressing the question of service and staffing is automation…

Retailers need to understand the difference between value-added and non-value-added activities. Customers are willing to pay for value added activities, like keeping the shelves full, offering great advice, or helping to determine and find the right product. Customers are not willing to pay for the privilege of giving retailers their money. Short check-out lines are not a positive experience, they are merely a less-bad experience…

The true answer is to limit or eliminate the need for the cashier altogether. The harsh reality is that if traditional retailers won’t do it, others will. For example, Apple and Amazon are both offering check-out-free experiences.

To compete in today’s retail landscape, stores must offer an experience that is powerful enough to draw customers away from their iPad. A key ingredient in stores is customer service. This means retailers need to provide:

  • The right amount of labor
  • The right skillset
  • The right time
  • The right conditions to succeed

Otherwise, customers will wait for the Amazon box to show up.

Don’t Chase the Puck! Retail Lessons from the NHL.

I was sitting in PPG arena in Pittsburgh, explaining to my sons what made Sidney Crosby the best hockey player in the world. I was telling them that Crosby wasn’t the biggest, or the fastest player on the ice, but he always seemed to know where the puck was going to be, or where his teammates were at any point…

As I explained that as you grew in talent and the competition got tougher, a thought began to dawn on me…That it wasn’t enough to merely master skills of execution, you had to also master knowledge of the game and hone your ability for anticipation. The adage, “skate to where the puck is going, don’t chase the puck,” rang especially loud.

My sons are avid soccer players, living in south Florida, and I was trying to draw a correlation between what Crosby could do on the ice with what they were trying to master on the pitch*. The thought occurred to me that the correlation didn’t just apply across sports, but it applied equally to the challenges almost all my retail clients are facing.

Most retailers have grown up knowing, and mastering, the retail equation:

Profit=Traffic x Conversion x Units per Transaction x Average Selling Price x Gross Margin %-Expenses

In the past, cyclical changes in one of the variables were most often offset with reduction in expenses. The easiest way to materially change expenses in the short term has always been to trim labor in the form of hours reduction. This was the learned and proven method to maintain constant profit levels, the most important factor in any given quarter to a publicly traded retailer.
Unfortunately, over the past ten years, and especially over the past five, there have been massive outside factors that have changed the nature of the equation. Predominantly, the “Amazon Effect.”

The “Amazon Effect” has radically changed the macro trend in traffic. This is especially evident in mall-based specialty retailers. There are further side impacts in terms of price and units as shoppers price check and stop cross-shopping in-store, but no one can deny that traffic is the biggest issue.

This is where the hockey analogy comes to play…

Retailers who are chasing the puck have continued to respond with well-honed reflexes; they cut labor hours. Many retailers are also trying to control expenses through longer-term changes to the expense side of the equation. Programs like field management structure changes, Full-Time/Part-Time mix, wage rate optimization all abound today. However, none of them address the true challenge…The puck is still moving away!

Retail traffic continues to decline, and the old responses are no longer adequate, as several limitations are reached. The most impactful limitation for many retailers is the harsh truth that hours cannot be cut any more. Many retailers are facing the reality of “minimum hours.” No matter how low traffic drops, you still need to have a physical associate in the building. This is to say nothing of the impact that such minimal coverage has on the service level customers experience in the store.

Most of retail has traditionally competed based on convenience and product. It was easy to walk around a mall and browse at the collection of product you could not experience anywhere else…

Retailers will talk about the great service levels that they provided and how they had always differentiated based on the experience that customers had in their stores. The flaw in this thinking is that of whom they were differentiating against. Predominantly, retailers differentiated against each other within the walls of the mall. (Or strip center, lifestyle center, outlet center, etc.) The fact is they assumed that the shopper was already out and ready to part with some portion of their disposable income. It still came down to the fact that leaving home afforded the customer some advantage in terms of convenience or selection. The internet fundamentally changed this equation, and retailers who “chase the puck” are competing within the realm of service and experience for a bigger piece of a shrinking pie, all while trying to balance the profit equation for Wall Street.

The Sidney Crosby’s of the retail world (think Apple, Restoration Hardware, Best Buy, Ulta) have looked at where the puck is going and are changing their world to be there first. Instead of constantly trimming the expense side of the equation, these retailers are redefining the other variables in the equation.

Instead of fighting showrooming and declining traffic, these retailers are embracing it…

By making their stores destinations for entertainment, by embracing their retail locations as fulfillment centers for online orders, by embracing the social aspect of shopping and integrating their online and physical brands, they have “skated to where the puck is going”.

The problem is that this is an ever-moving target, and what was a differentiator just a year or two ago is now table stakes, a la BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store).

To truly anticipate where the puck is going, retailers need to:

  • Redefine their competitive set:. Online sales are direct competition, often on factors that were never considered relevant to some retailers.
  • Explicitly define their customer: Not only who is desired or targeted, but who they are currently and what will motivate them to keep them shopping at your brand
  • Review their selling model and value proposition: Retailers need to not only define it but assess the reality of what they are currently delivering…through the eyes of the associate and the eyes of the customer.
  • Evaluate their supporting systems: Are incentive systems, reports and metrics, hiring and training models, management structure, IT infrastructure, etc. designed to encourage the selling model and value proposition? Do associates know what is expected of them and are they trained in how to do it?

Is your company chasing the puck, or skating to where the puck is going?

* Of course, not ten minutes later Crosby scored the first of several unbelievable goals by batting the puck out of the air to himself and then past a shocked Carey Price, proving that maybe there was a LITTLE bit more than normal talent behind his genius…

The importance of integrating Labor and Workforce Management Systems

As Omni-channel continues to blur the lines between Distribution Centers and Retail, forward-thinking companies are beginning to leverage labor and workforce technologies outside their ‘traditional’ environments.

Under intense pressure from eCom giants, customer expectations and demands, retail stores continue their evolution toward becoming fulfillment, distribution and return processing centers. Labor Management Systems (LMS), which were born in the Warehouse / DC environment, are now being utilized in stores to track the performance of these tasks while providing timely feedback and performance coaching opportunities.

At the same time, 3PLs, Wholesalers and Retail DCs continue to feel the crunch of a tight workforce. To ensure warehouses have the ideal staffing level, companies are turning to Workforce Management (WFM) solutions to forecast demand and schedule optimization. Traditionally used for the schedule volatility of retail stores, WFM and advanced forecasting is finding a new home in distribution centers.

For companies adopting these technologies across traditional channels, the benefits are clear:

• A holistic view of operations
• Scheduling, utilization and staff plan synchronicity
• Consistent performance accountability across all departments
• Clearer forecasting
• Increased customer satisfaction and service
• Financial improvement

In a recent conversation with Jeff Peretin, President of Connors Group, he added that “Connors has always led the charge with our clients and partners by helping them navigate the complexities of a quickly-changing retail / supply chain environment. One area where we’ve seen an increase, is the focus on maximizing the utilization of different software platforms to identify efficiencies across the enterprise, specifically when it comes to labor.”

As companies continue to compete on costs, proven technologies for workforce and labor management will be blended together across channels to provide a holistic solution for workforce optimization. And the companies that embrace this new reality, won’t just survive, they will also thrive.

We’d love to hear from you!

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How POS Big Data Can Change Your Business

While everyone in retail management is familiar with the cliché “Knowledge is power,” they don’t always realize the information they have access to. Point-of-Sale information, for instance, is your best retail consultant when it comes to customer and marketing information. The insight from this information can completely change everything, from advertisement campaigns to operating hours. In fact, here are four key ways that POS data can help.

Targeted Marketing

One of the most interesting things that POS data can do for you is to help determine specific buyer patterns. For instance, Target was able to detect that pregnant mothers in their second or third trimesters were likelier to buy things like scent-free soaps and lotions, large cotton balls, magnesium and zinc supplements, and so on. Accordingly, Target used this data to send specific consumers information and deals on the products they were most likely to buy, which leads to a better ROI than sending out the same sales catalog to each customer and trying to please everyone.

Better understanding of the market

It’s possible to use POS data to intimately understand the market for your products. For instance, retail management can determine if certain products are selling better (or worse) in certain regions or if customers are buying a product in certain colors or sizes while largely ignoring others. By identifying these sales trends, you can make your business more profitable by shifting what sells most to where it sells best. It also helps you identify the potential for new business opportunities in these stores and to create promotions that better engage with individual consumers.

Analyzing previous advertising campaigns

When evaluating the effectiveness of various promotions and advertising campaigns, POS data is invaluable. It provides the data to allow retail management to compare even small differences in the same advertising campaign to see what customers responded to more. You can also see the kinds of sales and promotions that your clients are most receptive to and design future sales and promotions accordingly. When it comes to individual store layout, you can even determine if moving a product to an endcap or other location has driven sales up as much as you were hoping.

More efficient operating hours

One thing that many retail management teams consider set in stone is their operating hours. If a store opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM, they may see no reason to ever adjust that. However, POS data can allow you to see if, for instance, there are virtually no customers after 6:30 PM. This gives you a chance to either adjust the store’s operating hours to close earlier or reduce the amount of staff working at that time. Using POS data year-round will also let you continue making these adjustments as different seasons change customer shopping behavior.

While “knowledge is power,” there’s another cliché skeptics have: “I’ll believe it when I see it.” You don’t have to simply imagine what POS data can do for your business. All you have to do to begin seeing missing business opportunities hidden within POS data is to request a free consultation. We will be glad to share the possibilities with you.

Does 1 Second Really Matter?

Occasionally I have been asked to justify why anyone in retail would need engineered labor standards. The arguments go something like,

• “Does one second vs one and a half seconds really make a difference?”
• “Most scheduling systems round labor anyway”
• “At the end of the day, operators have to schedule to the budget, not to labor standards”.

The basis of these questions is probably related to a bad experience trying to implement a pile of over-engineered labor standards that were handed off with little context or considerations for the end use. I know this because it happened to me back in my workforce management software implementation days. I have seen over engineering and incomplete labor engineering — typically from consulting firms whose primary services are focused elsewhere.

Labor standards should not be thought of as over-engineered time studies that split the hairs of time and are not compatible with environments that operate more fluidly. They are precise and accurate calculations, true, but in retail practice they should be viewed as a means to a more operationally productive end.

Engineered labor standards are the basis for achieving operational excellence. They are about understanding the workload required to effectively and efficiently operate your stores to make your workforce more productive. The information and insight they provide can lead to substantial gains in labor savings and lead to increased profitability. In most cases our clients are able to reinvest savings from inefficient tasking work to customer service and selling. Labor standards can also help make workforce management scheduling systems more accurate and work toward sharpening the budget – not blowing it.

So back to the original question – “Does one second really matter?” The answer is that you are asking the wrong question. The question should be, “Do labor standards really improve my operations?” The answer to that question, that we have seen over and over again across our clients, is emphatically “YES!”.

More to come on operational excellence and top-line growth…..

Sensing the Retail Store’s Pulse

Fresh from NRF2017, PJ Jakovljevic of TEC wrote a great article summarizing the momentum Reflexis Systems currently has in the market.  PJ specifically describes how the Reflexis partnership with Connors Group is a “step in the right direction” and will enhance their ability to compete.

Reflexis Overview

Founded in 2001, Reflexis is headquartered in Dedham, Massachusetts, and has offices in Atlanta, London, Düsseldorf, and Pune (India), with additional sales presence across cities in Europe and Latin America. Some of the company’s ~320 employees are stationed in their home offices in many other places.

The Reflexis retail store execution (operations) software platform started from store operations software solutions such as task management for corporate planners and store managers and retail store auditing for regional managers (the latter called StoreWalk). In 2009, the vendor expanded into the realm of labor operations software solutions such as time and attendance (T&A), workforce management (labor budgeting, forecasting, and scheduling), employee self-service, mobile apps, and analytics (see figure 1). These retail store execution capabilities aim to enable retailers to align store labor and activities with corporate goals and to institutionalize best-practice responses to near real-time exceptions and alerts.

More than 240 of global retailers in multiple vertical retail categories have reported significant improvements in store-level compliance with corporate strategies and increased revenue and profitability after implementing Reflexis solutions. These include grocery, quick service restaurant (QSR), convenience, specialty, big box, and apparel stores. In fact, Reflexis has an impressively high customer retention rate of 97% and high customer satisfaction ratings.

Figure 1. Reflexis retail execution platform
Figure 1. Reflexis retail execution platform

IoT-enabled StorePulse

Reflexis recently moved into the real-time retail store operations realm with StorePulse. This solution has since been adopted by major discount, grocery, consumer electronics, and drug/pharmacy chains. This is an IoT play where retailers can link their existing systems and devices to Reflexis to create automated best practice actions for store associates and store managers. This is based on metrics and exceptions from store supply chains, point-of-sale (POS) devices, store traffic counters, loss prevention, and various other retail systems (see figure 2).

For example, a major big box retailer is using the Reflexis StorePulse solution to greatly improve the efficiency of execution of the retailer’s in-store price matching promise to consumers (who typically come to showroom and then buy from the likes of Amazon). In this setup, store managers can approve the price reduction request by responding to a StorePulse alert with a simple “yes or no” click or finger push. Previously, store managers would have had to spend an inordinate amount of time shuffling papers or through computer screens to find info on the product whose price discount needed approval, which prevented them from doing more valuable stuff (imagine doing about 30 such approvals a day).

Check out the remainder of the article here.


Store Closing Trends and Operational Opportunities

The convergence of several retail patterns continues to point toward an increased need for operational labor improvements, from retail stores to distribution centers.

Retail store closings have been making headlines over the last few weeks.  Macy’s, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Sears have all announced store closings.   Conversely, the trend for distribution centers appears to be growth; in terms of new facilities, facility size increases, and inventory turns.  This largely reflects the impact of ecommerce growth.

We also continue to read, and hear from our clients, about Millennial’s desire for experiences in stores and increased service levels.  So, while the sales volume may be shifting to online transactions, there is still a demand for enhanced in-store service.

The need to increase the focus on customer service by minimizing time spent on non-service store activities/tasks (stocking, merchandizing, receiving, etc.), becomes tremendously important.  Our consultants, however, continue to see high levels of non-service tasking, and inconsistent execution coming at the expense of service across most retailers.

Time spent with customers is crucial to driving conversion and higher units per transaction, and needs to be focused on heavily to maintain the correct payroll percent.   This is negatively impacted if store employees are increasingly burdened with inefficient processes, or not well trained on defined best methods.

A reduction in physical store count means that the remaining stores will need to up their game operationally to meet the customer demands.  The remaining stores will not receive much payroll breathing room from the closing store cost reductions, and will need to prove their worth and viability on a daily basis by extracting the highest value from the labor they have remaining across the fleet.

We have found that processes in both the distribution centers and the stores can be improved to help ensure that product is delivered efficiently, and in a way that is quickly and easily merchandised at the store level.  Minimizing this type of tasking time to reduce overall payroll spend, and to refocus efforts on customer service, is essential.

The trends point to decreased physical store footprints, increased customer service levels, and increased distribution center activity.  Operational processes need to be crisp, and labor needs to be balanced optimally to pull this off effectively.

Can Supermarkets Be Profitable in the Click and Collect Game?

Traditional brick-and-mortar supermarkets are under siege from competitors across the entire retail spectrum.  Not only have retailing behemoths Amazon and Wal-Mart upped their stakes in the grocery game, but seemingly every retailer now offers “grocery” items.  Walk the aisles of any drug, convenience, office supply or home improvement store and you’ll find a slew items consumers historically reserved for their weekly trip to the supermarket.  Combine this rapidly increasing competition with the continued deflation seen in core grocery categories (-2.2% CPI YoY) and you have a recipe for rapid business erosion.  To combat these sales declines, more and more traditional grocers are turning to “click and collect” as an offering to drive up customer trip frequency and basket size.

To Marketing and Merchandising grocery executives, click and collect is an exciting new offering customers are bound to love!  After all, what busy mom or working family wouldn’t sign-up to have their groceries shopped for them?  To Operations and Finance executives, click and collect is a phrase that sends shivers down their backs nearly as much as “EMV chips” and “increasing minimum wage”.  The reason for the financial skepticism and operational concern is fairly simple; click and collect layers in incremental operational cost to a business model with already razor-thin margins.  The simple example below illustrates further:

Net Profit Rate2.00%
Original Profit $$2.00
Labor to Pick($12.00)
Service Fee Charge$5.00
New Profit $($5.00)

Using the industry standard net margin of 2%, a grocer would typically net $2 in profit on a traditional $100 basket. However, once click and collect is introduced, the same grocer must now spend labor to pick the customer’s order and ultimately pay an associate to do what the customer used to do for free.  Using a modest one hour of labor at $12/hour to pick the order and assuming there is a $5 fee for the service, the grocer has now lost $5 in profit!  Not exactly an offering any grocer should be too excited about.  Granted, this is an oversimplification of a complex financial model and most grocers are banking on a sales lift to justify the service, but it begs the question: can traditional grocers be successful (profitable) with click and collect?  The answer is yes, but doing so requires, among other tactics, an operational strategy that maximizes picking efficiency and delivers a fantastic customer experience.  Designing that operational strategy requires a grocer to deliver on and solve for a variety of topics, including:

  • In-Store Picking Approach – A recent Connors Group study showed for a 40 item order, grocers are spending between 0.8 and 2.2 hours all-in per order picked in-store, with the majority of grocers above 1.4 hours per order. The key characteristic that separates the top performers on this picking efficiency spectrum is their strategy for picking as order volume increases.  Efficient click and collect picking in a grocery environment is a step-wise function.  At low volumes, single order picking is the most economical and practical. As volume increases, it becomes economically viable to step into batch picking and then ultimately zone picking.   Establishing a “wareroom”, a miniature warehouse setup within the retail store, also warrants analysis to further optimize picking efficiency.
  • Picking Outside the Store? – To dark-store or not to dark-store? That’s one of the most hotly contest questions in the online grocery space today and rightfully so.  The allure of lower labor rates and warehouse-like inventory control are extremely appealing.  And in many cases, picking orders at a central location, instead of within the retail store, is the best decision.  However, factors ranging from transportation costs, to pick efficiency and capitalization costs need to be considered.
  • Lead Time & Pricing Considerations – When designing a click and collect offering, careful consideration needs to be given to lead time and its interplay with service fee pricing. Short lead times are valued by customers and yield higher service fee charges, but can wreak havoc on store operations.  Conversely, long lead times allow for operational optimization and alternative fulfillment models.  In the end, thorough price elasticity and efficiency modeling should be done to identify the optimal balance between lead time & pricing.
  • Work Methods, Labor Standards & Equipment – Like any frequently reoccurring retail process, establishing an accurate labor standard and using proper work methods while picking, sorting, bagging and delivering click and collect orders are essential. A suboptimal method at any step within this process can result in lost productivity and order errors.  In addition, work methods need to conform to the other characteristics of the click and collect service.  Should associates pick into totes?  Should they pick into bags to reduce sorting? What style tote cart should be used based on order profiles?
  • Technology Assessment – Operating a click and collect service is inherently technical and nearly impossible without the right technology. Even with technology in place, improperly designed or planned operational software can cause picking inefficiencies and order mistakes.  How does the software validate the correct item was picked?  What logic is being used to route associates throughout the store?  How can the software be streamlined to speed the picking process?

We at Connors Group have deep experience helping retailers answer all of these questions.  Click here to contact us to learn more about how Connors Group can help optimize your click and collect operations.

Can Labor Modeling Really Help My Retail Business?

When it comes to operations in a retail store, managers understand the struggle of balancing sales, service, and productivity with changing customer patterns and behaviors. While it often feels like trying to hold onto something in the midst of a hurricane, there is a method for keeping steady: Establishing a properly balanced labor model. In fact, there are four major ways that labor modeling can help with workforce management and workforce planning of your business.

Finding Hidden Benefits

Cutting labor when sales dip is a classic retail reaction. One of the mistakes of trying to save money by cutting labor is underestimating how many behind-the-scenes activities workers may be doing. Research conducted by The Harvard Business Review noted that stores that strategically increased their staffing in the right places often experienced benefits such as a more organized back room or a cleaner store appearance, and that these stores often also experienced higher profits. A properly established labor model allows you to better calculate the impact of labor on profit and discover some of the surprising ways that staff may be contributing to the success of your business.

Saving Money

Of course, the bottom-line, primary benefit of a proper labor model is that it can save you money when it comes to labor management. In fact, research by McKinsey and Company revealed that retailers are able to cut labor costs by upwards of 12 percent through better “labor scheduling and budgeting,” and all without sacrificing “customer service and employee satisfaction.” Labor modeling helps re-balance and reallocate labor, allowing businesses to better meet customer demand with a “supply” of exactly the right staff at exactly the right time and place.

Making Efficient Staffing Decisions

Labor modeling provides key advantages when it comes to workforce planning. By helping retailers gather more data, they can then apply it in ways to benefit both staff and customers alike. For instance, the results can help maximize sales opportunities during non-peak times (such as the end of workers’ shifts), which is better than the employees simply starting their closing duties early. Armed with this data, retailers can not only maximize the sales opportunities, but also reward the employees based on customer conversion. These incentives will drive employee productivity and customer service which, in turn, will drive increased sales.

Improving Customer Service

While labor modeling is perhaps mostly known for its contributions to workforce management efficiency and increasing productivity, it can also have a serious impact on customer service. By re-purposing employees from non-service inefficient processes to customer facing service activities retailers boost service levels, and sales . This is crucial. According to research conducted by Bain and Company, a whopping 25% of the “top frustrations” of customers came from poor experiences with sales representatives.

A properly designed labor model can stand alone, or be incorporated into workforce management software: be sure to contact us and request a free consultation!

The Labor Impact of Chip Readers

At Connors Group, we have measured the productivity of retail front end operations for years.  Few universal process changes have had the direct impact that payment card chip readers – or the EMV standard have had.  It impacts every piece of the customer transaction, causing significant delays and throughput considerations at the cash wrap.

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