dm brings self-checkouts to around 100 German stores

dm Drogeriemarkt is tackling checkout queues, which pose a significant challenge at peak times like those on Saturdays. The drugstore operator is currently testing self-checkouts from Pan Oston in four selected stores in Germany. At the self-checkouts, customers can only pay with credit or giro cards. The Karlsruhe-based company confirmed to Retail Optimser that around 100 more dm stores in Germany will also be equipped with self-checkouts this summer.

“Now is the right time. Our customers want digital and contactless payment” explains Stephan Seitz, divisional manager at dmTech in Karlsruhe in an interview with Retail Optimiser. “We are satisfied, the customers accept the self-service checkouts very well” adds Seitz.


The drugstore operator is currently testing self-checkouts at four German locations. Terminals from Pan Oston have been in place since last Saturday in the dm store that reopened after renovation at Zeil 123 on the busy shopping mile near the Hauptwache in Frankfurt am Main. Customers can choose between three traditional checkouts and four self-service checkouts. The location of the self-checkouts in the store in Frankfurt has been chosen in such a way that they remain in the field of vision of the cashiers at the traditionally staffed checkouts.

The self-checkouts were configured according to dmTech’s wishes. In use at the Pan Oston terminals are receipt printers from Epson, Magellan scanners from Datalogic and touch displays from Elo. Customers pay for their goods via the card reader from the Californian supplier Verifone.

dm is exploring the right strategy against shrinkage

A weight control scale is not installed at the self-checkouts. “The procedure with weight control tends to be error-prone. At the self-checkouts, we want to ensure pleasant processing and offer customer-oriented solutions,” Seitz explains.

dm uses a mix of radio frequency and acustomagnetic article surveillance systems in its stores. Nevertheless, some dm stores are also operated without electronic loss prevention.

In the Frankfurt store of the drugstore specialist, selected goods are secured with RF technology. To avoid the gates at the exit sound an alarm after payment at the self-checkout, the tags are automatically deactivated when the goods are scanned. The Retail Optimiser team did not observe any checks of the scanned shopping baskets by dm employees.

Self-checkouts in three Polish dm stores

Also abroad, Europe’s largest drugstore operator already offers its customers self-checkouts of this kind. The terminals can be found in the first three Polish stores that have been opened since the company entered the market in April this year. According to information from Retail Optimiser, self-checkouts are to be introduced step by step in other European markets.

According to media reports, dm was already active with Scan & Go and Snabble in a large-scale test of self-scanning with customers’ smartphones at the beginning of 2021: in eight stores and four countries. It seems very likely that the drugstore specialist will stick to the topic of self-scanning. The only question is when a presumably app-based solution will be introduced. The newly installed self- checkouts could serve excellently as payment terminals in this customer journey.

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Annette Böhm

Annette Böhm has been specialising in the development and the management of marketing campaigns targeting retailers and consumer goods companies for more than 20 years. The focus of her expertise is on lead generation campaigns and client nurturing. She is an expert in social media and e-mail-marketing and has a high level of experience with the most relevant CRM and marketing automation tools.

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