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Wegmans discontinues its in-store scan-and-go mobile app, citing high losses

·2-min read

Wegmans, the popular supermarket chain, will kill off its in-store scan-and-go app this Sunday, September 18, 2022. The company informed customers of the news in an email yesterday, stating that it experienced too many losses from the Wegmans SCAN program to continue making the mobile app available to users.

“Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state,” CEO Colleen Wegman wrote in the email to customers. “We’ve learned a lot and we will continue to introduce new digital solutions to streamline your shopping experience for the future.”

As a “sign of gratitude” from the company, Wegmans applied a $20 coupon to each SCAN customer’s Shoppers Club accounts.

While we know the SCAN app was hurting the business, Wegmans declined to share to TechCrunch just how much money it lost. The supermarket chain also didn't offer any details on what its future plans were for “new digital solutions.”

“We’ve made the decision to turn off the app until we can make improvements that will meet the needs of our customers and business," the company told us.

Wegmans SCAN app launched in 2020, during the pandemic, as a contactless option for in-store shoppers. The free mobile app allowed users to conveniently scan barcodes while grocery shopping and pay for items quicker at the self-checkout register.

Wegman's losses from the app point to a common problem among companies that utilize in-store scan-and-go technology — shoplifting. Walmart temporarily suspended Scan and Go, its cashierless checkout program due to theft, an ex-Walmart exec told Business Insider in 2019. Walmart initially tested the technology in 2012 and has since relaunched the self-scanning system.

According to a 2018 study conducted by a professor at the University of Leicester, Adrian Beck, data showed that product loss could go up an extra 1% for 10% of a store’s scan-and-go sales.

Another reason why Wegmans could be dropping the app may be due to low user adoption. In 2020, the Wegmans SCAN app saw about 45% of its total installs, with around 142,000 downloads, data from Sensor Tower estimates. The mobile app market intelligence firm told TechCrunch that the Wegmans SCAN app has reached approximately 319,000 installs to date.

When compared to a similar in-store scan-and-go app, Sainsbury's SmartShop, the Wegmans scan app has fewer installs. SmartShop launched two years earlier than Wegmans SCAN and now has risen to about 3.6 million installs, said Sensor Tower.