Walmart Implements Changes to Self-Checkout Lanes Following Target’s Lead

Walmart Limits Self-Checkout Lanes: Following Target's Lead or Security Measure? | CIO Women Magazine

Source – The US Sun

In a move reminiscent of Target’s recent adjustments, Walmart is introducing changes to its self-checkout lanes at select stores nationwide. Business Insider reports that Walmart is now following in Target’s footsteps by reserving specific self-checkout lanes for Walmart+ subscribers or Spark delivery drivers. Customers and employees alike have taken to Reddit to share their observations, with one Walmart employee disclosing, “At my store, we have 10 self-checkouts, and 6 are dedicated for Spark drivers/Walmart plus members – 4 for Spark and 2 for plus.”

Moreover, another Reddit post indicates that certain Walmart locations are limiting the number of items customers can check out at self-checkout lanes. One employee stated, “My store is doing 20 items or less at the SCO.” Although Walmart has yet to respond to TheStreet’s request for comment, they have confirmed to Business Insider that some stores are “temporarily testing different checkout staffing options.” The retailer emphasized that store managers are experimenting with various strategies based on customer shopping habits, feedback, and business needs.

Target’s Similar Move Sparks Controversy

Walmart’s shift comes on the heels of a comparable change at Target, where users on social media recently noticed reduced operating hours for self-checkout lanes. A Reddit user shared, “We’re open 8-10 normally but I just got told that our SCO will now only be operating 10-6:30.” This alteration at Target prompted backlash, with customers expressing dissatisfaction about long lines at traditional cashier checkout lanes.

In response to the reports, Target clarified on February 16 that they were “piloting a number of tests to determine their impact on the overall guest experience” in select stores. This move by both retail giants hints at a broader trend within the industry to reassess self-checkout operations.

Retailers React to Shoplifting Concerns

The adjustment in self-checkout practices aligns with a broader industry focus on tackling shoplifting concerns. Costco, for instance, revised its self-checkout operations in the previous year by increasing staff to monitor and scan ID cards at lanes. The rationale behind this move was to address instances where nonmembers used self-checkout to sneak in and use membership cards that didn’t belong to them.

According to a survey by LendingTree, retailers are narrowing down on self-checkout lanes due to substantial losses amounting to $112.1 billion in 2022 caused by shoplifting. The survey further revealed that 69% of Americans using self-checkout machines believe the technology contributes to shoplifting. Notably, 15% of consumers admitted to purposely stealing an item at self-checkout, with only 33% facing consequences. Additionally, 21% of respondents claimed to have accidentally taken an item using self-checkout, and a striking 69% chose to keep the item instead of returning it. As retailers navigate these challenges, the evolving landscape of self-checkout policies remains a topic of keen interest and scrutiny.

Also read: Walmart Observes Shift In Shopping Patterns Due To Ozempic



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