Walmart Reveals Decision To Remove Self-Checkout Counters at 2 Stores

Walmart Reveals Decision To Remove Self-Checkout Counters at 2 Stores

( – Walmart revealed its decision to remove more self-checkouts at a few stores in the US. The retail giant reportedly said it wanted to improve the “in-store shopping experience.” According to a spokesperson, the retailer hopes the move will allow it to provide more “personalized and efficient service.” It was reported on April 18 that the removal was expected to be completed in about two weeks.

The two most recent locations to lose self-checkout options include one in Missouri and one in Ohio. Some other locations, as well as other retailers, have taken steps to remove or limit access to self-checkouts amid concerns about issues such as the speed of the checkout process and customers failing to properly scan items. Walmart made it clear though that they aren’t currently planning to ditch self-checkouts entirely.

While Walmart did not blame theft for the move, media outlets have pointed to the issue as an ongoing one for retailers. Last year, for instance, Walmart installed anti-theft technology that reportedly increased hostile encounters between customers and staff. The company gave its staff devices to keep track of self-checkout purchases. Employees complained, however, saying they were not trained to deal with shoplifters and had things thrown at them when they confronted customers for not scanning all of their items.

The device allowed workers to close down the self-checkouts, leaving customers with no option but to call for help. Staff members could then pretend the machine had broken down, necessitating a cash register sale. Customers who were trying to cheat the system, however, would sometimes get defensive.

Retailer Target also installed new technology, known as TruScan, to tackle self-checkout stealing. TruScan is a system of cameras loaded with artificial intelligence that monitors shoppers as they scan their items. Target has not revealed specific details about how the technology works, but it said it can identify repeat offenders and alert shoppers and staff if items are unscanned.

Dollar General is another retailer that’s been rethinking its relationship to self-checkouts. It announced earlier this year that it was removing self-checkout installations from 300 stores while reducing or limiting self-checkout in thousands of others. The company cited shrink, also known as lost inventory due to error, theft, fraud, or damage, as the reason for this move.

Neil Saunders of GlobalData said removing and restricting self-checkouts is a method retailers are using to try to cut back on losses.

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