10th June 2011 / Tom Quarry
Wine kiosks in America that have caused controversy since deployment have now been given their last orders (sorry for the cheesy pun!) Complaints from consumers about the touch screen kiosks that sell wine have resulted in the units being given the boot from one supermarket chain. Wegmans Food Markets, which has stores located across many states, have pulled out of the much-criticised wine-kiosk program in Pennsylvania stating that they had hoped customers would find the units to be a valuable addition to shopping experiences but that proved not to be the case. A statement from the firm said that the supposedly user-friendly kiosks had in fact backfired, saying: “The kiosks have not realised their potential, and in some ways have been detrimental to our stores.” Based in Rochester, New York, the supermarket chain had protested to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) arguing that the machines often malfunctioned leading to a significant volume of customer complaints. Wegmans had installed 10 of the 22 active units in Pennsylvania.
The PLCB first proposed the technology proposals back in 2008 for the deployment of up to 100 kiosks. The units would hold up to 500 bottles of wine and include biometrics and other security measures in the mission to enhance self-service alcohol sale. The first exampled units were rolled out as part of a pilot scheme last year in June 2010 but expansion plans since have been haltered to address mechanical issues.
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Pic Credit: The Consumerist