King Soopers, a division of the Kroger Corp. and the No. 1 U.S. grocery chain, operates about 130 stores in Colorado. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Kroger Company is one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2003 sales of $53.8 billion. The Kroger Company spans many states with store formats that include grocery, multi-department, convenience, and mall jewelry stores.
Despite being a well-known location for buying discounted ski lift tickets, baseball, concert, and amusement park tickets, King Soopers was faced with a dilemma: how to better handle their extremely high ticket sale volumes. Previous attempts to encourage their ticketing system provider (TicketsWest) to develop a self-service kiosk solution were failures due to high start-up costs, and limited experience managing remote controlled automated devices. How could King Soopers capitalize on the concept of using self-service to help manage heavy sales volumes without substantially affecting their long time relationship with TicketsWest?