ScanIt!, Then SpendIt!

First there was the cashier. Then, the express lane. The self-scanner. And now, the ScanIt!.

Another testament to the idea that the better the tech, the smaller the package (and that exclamation points are silly in product names) the ScanIt! is a handheld device that scans grocery purchases as they’re made, keeps a running total, and even suggests relevant coupons and deals mid-shop.

Let’s do pros first: It’s really, really cool. Who doesn’t love scanning things? We see a prime distraction for bored shoppers, kids and moms alike. Then there’s the budget-policing aspect: No more fudging prices or mistyping on that smart phone calculator—the ScanIt! (feels silly, right?) will do the math for you.


Yet while the ScanIt! might be touted as a tool for the money-conscious shopper—and who isn’t one, these days?—it’s actually a pink plastic spending trap. Really though, it’s pink. The idea of suggestions for further purchases with coupons seems great, but it’s eerily reminiscent of the enjoyably black hole that is SuperTarget… you don’t think you need it until you see it on sale. The Wall Street Journal tells us that, unsurprisingly, shoppers who use the device spend about 10% more than shoppers who don’t.

Apparently, around half of Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets in the Northeast have implemented the ScanIt!. But knowing that it’s a device that allows us to avoid lines and interacting with others, we expect that it will spread through NYC like wildfire.

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April 13, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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