Major retailers consider pulling self-checkout lanes after customer backlash

Think back to the last time you went to Walmart or a major big box store. Did a cashier scan your items or did you have to use self-checkout?

In recent years self-checkout lanes have become more and more popular; however, not everyone has embraced the advancement in technology leading to plenty of complaints from customers.

Those who aren’t a fan of self-checkout might be excited to learn that some major retailers are considering dialing back on the number of lanes dedicated to self-checkout.

According to CNN, self-checkout lanes were introduced in the 1980s and grew in popularity during the 2000s before exploding during the pandemic.

The initial idea was to cutback on labor expenses, and then during the pandemic self-checkout lanes helped minimize interactions between employees and customers.

While many enjoy the convenience of scanning their own items, others express their frustration over having to do what used to be the job of a store employee.

In addition to an increase in the number of complaints, retailers have also noticed a higher number of losses due to customer error or shoplifting.

A 2016 study showed that retailers with self-checkout lanes and apps suffered a loss rate of about 4% which is more than double the industry standard.

While stores have added additional measures to protect themselves from shrink, some plan to do away with self-checkout lanes entirely.

Earlier this year some Walmarts in New Mexico removed their self-checkout lanes, while a ShopRite in Delaware pulled theirs after too many complaints.

Wegmans used to allow customer to use an app to scan and pay as they shopped around their stores, but they’ve since pulled the app.

And Costco has added more employees near their self-checkout lanes to combat non-members using cards that don’t belong to them.


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