Retailers are removing self checkout machines due to frustration, product loss

Embed from Getty Images
Target announced at the end of October that they’re limiting self-checkout to 10 items or less. There were mixed feelings online. Most people called out self-checkout for what it is: a way for companies to cut costs by eliminating having to pay actual employees. It’s all about the almighty dollar and those shareholder profits, baby. I guess the joke’s on them because due to a loss of inventory, several other big name retailers have decided to remove self-checkout machines or put clunky other measures in place. These retailers include Walmart, Costco, Wegmans, and British supermarket chain Booths.

Self-checkout, a history: Self-service machines were first introduced during the 1980s to lower labor expenses. They shifted the work of paid employees to unpaid customers. Self-checkout expanded at supermarkets in the early 2000s as stores looked to cut costs, and during the pandemic, many shoppers used self-checkout for the first time to minimize close interaction with employees and other customers.

Customers find them confusing and impersonal: ”Our customers have told us this over time — that the self-scan machines that we’ve got in our stores … can be slow, they can be unreliable (and) they’re obviously impersonal,” Booths managing director Nigel Murray told the BBC. Customers at Booths also frequently misidentified which fruits and vegetables they were buying when prompted by self-checkout machines. Alcohol purchases also were not smooth transactions through self-checkout because employees had to verify customers’ ages.

“Shrink” is a growing problem: [Retailers] have found that self-checkout leads to higher merchandise losses from customer errors and intentional shoplifting — known as “shrink” — than human cashiers ringing up customers. Shrink has been a growing problem for retailers, who have blamed shoplifting for the increase and called for tougher penalties. But retailers’ self-checkout strategies have also contributed to their shrink problems. One study of retailers in the United States, Britain and other European countries found that companies with self-checkout lanes and apps had a loss rate of about 4%, more than double the industry average.

Costco management said this year that shrink increased “in part we believe due to the rollout of self-checkout.” Five Below, the discount toy retailer, said that shrink at stores with more self-checkout lanes was higher. The company plans to increase the number of staffed cash registers in new locations.

User error and technology mishaps: Some products have multiple barcodes or barcodes that don’t scan properly with self-checkout technology. Produce, including fruit and meat, typically needs to be weighed and manually entered into the system using a code. Customers may type in the wrong code by accident. Other times shoppers won’t hear the “beep” confirming an item has been scanned properly.

Some customers pull funny business: Other customers take advantage of the lax oversight at self-checkout aisles and have developed techniques for stealing. Common tactics include not scanning an item, swapping a cheaper item (bananas) for a more expensive one (steak), scanning counterfeit barcodes attached to their wrists or properly scanning everything and then walking out without paying.

Solutions are still causing problems: Stores have tried to limit losses by tightening self-checkout security features, such as adding weight sensors. But additional anti-theft measures also lead to more frustrating “unexpected item in the bagging area” errors, requiring employees to intervene.

[From CNN]

I guess it’s more profitable to hire (and underpay) employees after all. It’s funny, though, because as I read through that article, I found myself nodding along with a lot of the issues they were talking about with the self-checkout process. There have been plenty of times when I put a reusable bag down and had to get an employee to clear the screen for me because it triggered the weight or my transaction was held up for a minute or so because someone needed to come over and check my ID to buy beer.

Personally, I really don’t mind self-checkout because I actually like the impersonalness of it. I listen to podcasts while I shop and feel rude going up to the registers with earbuds, even if I’ve pressed pause. The lines also tend to move a little quicker since there are anywhere between four and ten machines, depending on the store. I think the mobile pickup orders are a good compromise for people like me and keeping workers employed. I do find it amusing, though, that the same companies that complained post-2020 that “nobody wants to work anymore” are now getting bit in the butt by measures they implemented for the purpose of not having workers anymore. Oh well, too bad, so sad.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Jim West / ImageBROKER / Avalon, Filmsbyjosh / BACKGRID and Getty

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

90 Responses to “Retailers are removing self checkout machines due to frustration, product loss”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Nubia says:

    I didnt know just how willfully and gleefully people steal in these stores. I was reading a thread and people were just giving each other tips on how they get away with all sorts of theft.

    • Steph says:

      @Nubia, during the George Floyd protests Target put on it’s official sm not to worry about their stores. They are insured. These companies will be absolutely fine

      • Fran says:

        @Steph – are you trying to make the argument that because they’re insured, it’s okay to steal?

      • Steph says:

        @fran – not necessarily ok, but I don’t care either. When you look at what’s being stolen, it’s basics. I’m more concerned about why there is a black market for necessities than I am about a company losing what amounts to chump change for them.

      • Josephine says:

        the companies are always going to be fine because they pass along the costs to those who actually pay. you’re not sticking it to the man when you steal, you’re just sticking it to honest people who may be hurting just as much.

      • Noah says:

        32 million Americans work for a retailer whether it be as HRManager or cashier. Shrink hurts everyone not just the retailer as prices increase due to loss. Retailers or here to serve their customers as well as their shareholders and employees. No one would invest in a company or 401K if they believed their investment would not grow. The employees that worked the check lanes have been repurposed to serve a new form of shopping curbside or drive up pickup. If one retailer doesn’t offer it they would be at a disadvantage to their competitors. We shouldn’t be so callous or indifferent to theft in our communities in any capacity.

    • delphi says:

      I am firmly in the mindset of “if someone is stealing essentials and you see it, no. You didn’t”. If someone is willing to risk potential prosecution over a gallon of milk, loaf of bread, eggs, or infant formula, I will either pay for it myself or turn a blind eye. I’m not about to go all Inspector Javert.

      But this also begs the question…HOW IN THE HELL ARE PEOPLE STEALING FROM COSTCO?!?!?! My local one has four or more people checking carts against receipts on your way out. Unless there is some internal collusion, I think retailers doth protest too much.

      • agirlandherdogs says:

        At my local Costco, even at the “self-checkout” you’re not allowed to check yourself out. They have cashier’s wandering around with the gun, scanning stuff in your cart.

      • Lauren says:

        I don’t know, in my experience, the people stealing stuff are not the ones that need it, but well-off people who feel entitled. The poor, in my experience, have more pride than to steal.

    • Caribbean says:

      I don’t use it because, 1) I should not feel that I work for the store 2) I know that is just about profit and not convenience 3) If I wanted self-checkout, I would use Amazon and have them deliver 4) These jobs that go to the machines are very important to families, whether as a starter for teenager or a career for many.

      • cf86713 says:

        @Caribbean I agree I also don’t use it either not to mention this doesn’t make my groceries any cheaper.

    • Laura says:

      Oh Nubia. Yes, it’s okay to steal. From Mom and Pops? Absolutely not. From giant corporations? 100%. They make you feel guilty for something they do from their employees and customers 10x over every day.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I guess these corporations found out that greed is not always good.

    • WaterDragon says:

      Unfortunately, corporations never learn anything that doesn’t enrich CEOs or stockholders. I am just glad that some are getting rid of or limiting self-checkout. I have always refused to use them. Hurray! maybe some prayers ARE answered.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I live in Northern England and I can tell you that Booths in the UK isn’t your usual corporation though, I think all the management has continued to be in the same family that started it all.

      So it’s a high end supermarket that doesn’t even exist in the rest of the UK outside of the counties of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, we only have it here in the North. Mind you, shopping there is so expensive that it made the self checkouts redundant.

      Another big reason they went back to the staff at counters is due to the fact that majority of their customers are either tourists or retired people.
      My husband and I shop there as a treat before Christmas and the average age inside is always 65-70 years old.

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Theres’s nothing not funny and ironic about this. Poor overpaid CEOs thinking shifting work to the consumer wouldn’t backfire. In the words of Nelson Muntz: Ha-ha!

    • Seraphina says:

      Exactly. And a part of me feels bad, but serves them right and I have no sympathy for them.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, they all saw dollar signs and ease at the idea of not having to employee people, and it shot them in the foot.

  4. Seraphina says:

    I like them when I CHOOSE to use them for my convenience, not when forced to because there are no other options. Walmart is notorious for that. They were idiots to think loss was not going to happen.

    • Betsy says:

      This right here. I quit shopping altogether at a local grocery chain because they quit staffing their checkout lines altogether until 9 am. I have children, I shop early in the day and I buy a lot of food; I don’t mind a self checkout for a few things, but self checkout for an entire family’s cart of food is a pain. And I *liked* the checkers. I’d seen and chatted with them for years.

      So I shop at other grocery stores now.

      • Josephine says:

        I’m in the exact same situation and did the exact same thing. The stores that don’t have cashiers but/for a few hours around here are spiraling down. They have implemented gates at the entrances and they just look awful and run down. The only people who work there are packing up groceries for pick-up.

    • AnneL says:

      Same. Self check-out is great as an option, not as a necessity. The market closest to me has a person permanently stationed by the self check-out area to help with any issues, and they are kept busy! It just seems pointless.

      There is a big thrift shop chain on the East Coast that has self check-out more or less exclusively. I once accidentally put something in my bag without scanning it, and didn’t realize it until I was back in my car checking my receipt. I didn’t bother going back in to pay for it. This place gets almost all of their merchandise through donations, which they then sell at a profit. I’ve donated there so I really didn’t feel guilty about unintentionally absconding with a $4 tablecloth.

    • SadieMae says:

      My local big-box grocery is open until midnight but they don’t have checkers after ten. It really is frustrating for those of us whose work/family commitments make it hard to do a big grocery run any other time of day. I don’t mind using the self-checkout for 8-10 items but if you’re buying a cart full it’s ridiculous – there’s not room for anything and you end up with bags all over the floor. I just drive an extra 15 mins. to a place that has actual checkers, even though it doesn’t have a great selection.

      I will say that self-checkout gave me a laugh once when a lady ahead of me in line was showing her elderly mom how to scan items. With great seriousness, she pointed to a barcode and said, “So these are usually on the top or the bottom of the box, except when they’re on the side.” Um … yeah, that pretty much covers the possibilities!

      • Lucky Charm says:

        “With great seriousness, she pointed to a barcode and said, “So these are usually on the top or the bottom of the box, except when they’re on the side.”
        @SadieMae, was that Kate or Pippa? Lol!

    • Robert Phillips says:

      It was only a couple of years ago Walmart tried putting in those hand scanners in their carts. And the customer was supposed to scan as you put things in the cart. That way you didn’t need to stand in line at all. I saw them putting it in one month. And taking it out the next. I wondered how they were checking it for theft. Apparently they weren’t.

    • Becks1 says:

      Exactly. I don’t want to always use self checkout bc there are no other options.

      I have definitely stolen things from self checkout but not intentionally – I’ll pick something up, get distracted by a kid, put it in the bag, and only realize after getting home that I didn’t scan it. So while you are going to have intentional theft, you are also going to have a lot of unintentional theft.

      • CatMum says:

        I once (unintentionally!) walked off with a 35 pound tub of cat litter from self checkout! at the time I actually felt stupid, but hey, I don’t work for walmart. so now I think it’s funny. this thing was huge! like a foot square and two feet tall! serves them right, I say.

        I also have the bad habit of setting my purse down in the “bagging area” and then it freaks out and someone has to come and reset the machine. or I’m buying wine and someone half my age has to come check my ID. I go to any open lane with an actual cashier now.

        good riddance!

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here – I can’t stand using them at certain places like Costco, the cashiers are a million times faster than I could ever be, and I hate when there’s a sea of unmanned registers and a huge line at self checkout – where most people are slow and don’t know what they’re doing.
      I did use self checkout at the convenience store near me this morning, the woman who is often at the register is always chatting to her coworkers and slowing things down, and always seems to have a cold, so if she’s there I do try to avoid her!

  5. FHMom says:

    I had to stop using the self checkout at my local grocery store for the disposable bag trigger and other issues. Just about everything causes the attendant to have to come over, and some of them are snippy. The worse reason other than the handle of the bag touching the machine is scanning too quickly. I mean, come on. I’ve actually pretty much stopped going to that one store because they only have like two human cashiers and the rest are self checkout.

  6. Flowerlake says:

    Same is happening in the Netherlands.
    My go-to supermarket used to have 8 registers. Now it’s 5, I think, and never seen them all manned. Clearly they want to save costs.

    However, due to losses another chain is already stopping with it. With the amount they pay cashiers, it’s probably much cheaper to pay them than what they lose in inventory.

    Also, they need to have someone standing there anyway to check nobody buys alcohol under 18 and there are random, computer generated checks, where people are told to wait until someone comes to check they scanned everything.
    These employees always seem stressed as customers tend to be much more annoyed at self check outs than at a registry, especially if they are stopped by the system because of those tests or because they buy alcohol and they have to wait because that employee is helping someone else or called away for something or simply MIA.

  7. Steph says:

    @Rosie what did Shawn have to do with this?! 😂
    Anywho, I’m down for me people working. I’ve managed to not get vivid so far so I’m not too worried about dealing with more people. Plus I’m single and live alone. I don’t need the big box does.
    CBers: how big of a concern is civic to you when it comes to self check out?

  8. Beana says:

    I used to manage the cashiers at a Target. They would divert my scheduling budget to the truck unload and sales floor teams, so according to our (eerily accurate) schedule modeling, we were chronically understaffed with cashiers before we even started the week.

    We were judged on surveys that included checkout wait time so we were asked to call for backup from the sales floor (which made their managers mad) or shove more people through Self Checkout. 30 percent of our customers went through Self Checkout; generally one attendant serviced four kiosks.

    It was a known issue for YEARS that people would steal over there. I’d sit with Loss Prevention and watch endless video footage of people stealing and receive criticism about why we didn’t catch it. “Why didn’t they catch that guy on Kiosk 4?” “Well, as you can see, they were helping someone at Kiosk 1.”

    The attendant could use attentive service to prevent stealing but couldn’t ever confront. If they stood too close, customers screamed at them. If they stood too far back, management accused them of being jazy and negligent.

    Retail created this mess years ago. Folks, be kind to those cashiers – and please be especially kind to that poor Self Checkout attendant, whose shift is more mentally demanding than their peers and is likely being held accountable for way too much.

    • MipMip says:

      This is a really useful insight into the inner workings of Target. Only 30% went through self-checkout? At my Target there’s usually one cashier lane open and one person watching over the 10 self-checkout kiosks. The self-checkout seems like 90% of their business. They’re busy and I don’t envy that job but it is uncomfortable when you’re scanning things and an employee is just hovering near you. I know it’s their job but it makes one feel like a criminal? I’m always nice to them but in our short- tempered world I can see how they get snapped at. As you said, be kind.

      Then there’s the self-checkout cameras that make one look like they are coping with tuberculosis after a long, harsh winter.

  9. SarahCS says:

    I’m very much in favour of businesses hiring enough staff for all their/my needs and I like the self-checkout option for a number of reasons.

    That said, I shoplifted from Waitrose a couple of weeks back! Or at least I’m 99% sure I did. I was using a small trolley as I had a couple of other bags with me already. When I returned the trolley there was something in it not in a bag (soft cheese I think) so I put it in the bag and went on my way. Then during my walk home it hit me that I probably hadn’t taken it out to scan. I rarely get a receipt so couldn’t check. By that time I wasn’t going to walk all the at back and ask them if they could check for me. I consumed the evidence of my crime asap.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Just remember every time you paid for an item and forgot it in the corner of the cashier’s desk, or in the trolley, by accident. That evens it out.

      • SarahCS says:

        That makes me feel better, thank you! I left a huge pack of toilet roll a few years back and I’m still annoyed about it now.

  10. Eurydice says:

    I don’t mind interacting with people. It’s just a few minutes out of my day, not like I’m going to marry them or anything.

  11. Ocean Girl says:

    Every time I have used self checkout, I hit the wrong thing or put something where I shouldn’t and have to turn on the blinking light to have the attendant come over. Every time! Last time I used one, I inadvertently came home with a free bag of pasta–I thought I had scanned everything! To be fair, I had way too many things to use the self-checkout. Good idea for a few things, not a cart full! However, the self-checkout had no one else in line, so I opted for that.

    Also, totally not surprised that there is a huge shrinkage problem with them.

  12. Hell Nah! says:

    What’s that you say? Some customers are taking the opportunity of having to scan their own items to intentionally steal from the store?!?


    • GoldenMom says:

      We are in golden days of FAFO.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      I mean I’ve seen people stealing right in front of the cashier’s nose and they didn’t notice it – so no wonder that’s gonna happen with self-checkouts. I honestly thought they already calculated that risk in.

  13. Orange girl says:

    I was at Walmart yesterday and went to the self checkout line. I was waiting in line for about 10 minutes and then the person who was at the front line realized that there were about six or seven open machines. Very frustrating. As I was leaving, I literally saw People just putting stuff in their cart and only paying for like two or three items out of 10. The system really doesn’t work.

  14. equality says:

    What’s funny is that my mother has had cashiers at Aldi misidentify fruits and vegetables. It’s not just the customers.

    • Ciotog says:

      When I first started as a cashier I rang up heads of garlic as onions. I had never seen a head of garlic before! We were strictly a garlic powder family, and not much of that.

  15. Dena says:

    Yeah – produce and items you have to pick a code? I find the closest one to “oranges” and call it a day. I’m not going through five screens to find the specific type of produce – an Anjou pear? An Asian pear? Who knows! – if I’m forced to use self checkout. The whole point is to get in and out of the store and I don’t support not paying cashiers who could do it right. I think most people get frustrated and aren’t going to take that time, either.

    • Kate says:

      The fruit and veg have stickers on them with an identifying number. Easier to type that number in IMO than to scroll for the food item itself.

      • Dena says:

        If it’s still there, I use it. But the stores where I shop maybe 1/10 items still has the sticker on? That’s why I almost never use self checkout – I’m not trying to steal, and I find jumping through the hoops to be very annoying.

    • Dara says:

      After multiple times trying and it never going quickly or accurately, I stopped using self checkout If I have a lot of fruit and veg, either the code isn’t loaded or it’s a higher price – I’m convinced it’s on purpose because the stores want you to just give up and pay whatever comes up on the scanner. And it’s not the obscure stuff either (who buys persimmons anyway?), it’s the grapes and the apples.

  16. Libra says:

    I like the self checkouts because I dislike standing in line behind full grocery carts when I only have a few items. Since we have retired and are empty nesters, I rarely do a big shopping. I go every few days and pick up a few things for dinners plus a couple of staples, at times. I can get through self checkout in a minute and be on my way. Fruits and veggies have numbers on them which are easy to enter. I also don’t care for the habit of some checkout staff having a full conversation with someone while scanning my items without paying attention. There have been too many errors entered that caught my eye but not hers, only to be told to go to the service counter and get a refund. Nope. I’ll stay with self checkout where I can see what’s been scanned and the correct price.

    • MissMarirose says:

      Yeah, I feel the same way. Because I don’t buy much, it’s just simpler and quicker to use self-checkout. Plus, at my local grocery store, they no longer allow you to bring your own bags and they only put one or two items in the plastic bags. So, with a cashier, I’m walking out with 15 items in 11 bags, but with self-checkout, it’s only 4 bags.

  17. Lucy says:

    I think I accidentally took meat once when self checking. I scanned everything, was surprised the total was lower than expected, and was in a hurry so bagged up and left. After I unpacked everything I realized the total was probably without the meat, but didn’t have the receipt and didn’t really want to go through the whole thing to return/pay for a pack of raw chicken. I shop there all the time, they’ll make it back.

  18. [insert_catchy_name] says:

    Unpopular opinion I guess, but I prefer self-check outs. I hardly ever have to wait in line, I don’t have to interact with anyone, and I can take my time to load my shopping bag the way I like. And in Germany: I don’t have to deal with anyone standing aggressively close behind me! :-p That being said, I am a single person, and would find it inconvenient to use them for a full trolley.

    However, I have used many self-check outs in many countries, and generally find them trouble-free BUT EVERY TIME I use one in the UK it f^%ks up. I think they have super sensitive settings or something.

    • elle says:

      Self-check all the way. The only thing that annoys me is trying to get my bags to stand up/stay open so I can fill them.

      I avoid one local chain because their system can’t be muted and loudly announces the price of everything you scan.

      I don’t want to have to discuss my purchases (yes, XYZ is good, that’s why I’m buying it) or pretend I’m friends with the checker, ala Trader Joe’s (What are my plans for the evening?). It seems like hand-in-hand with self-checking, the regular checkout became more interactive, so I avoid as much as possible.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Personally I don’t mind them, however I live in the UK and as you noticed they constantly f@ck up one way or another and you have to wait for assistance, so it makes it a lot slower than actually going to a manned checkout.

  19. Me-Me says:

    I hate self-checkout but of course have used it, and while I’ve never stolen anything when using it I can see how pathetically easy it would be to do so. I’m a middle aged, middle class white lady and I have never even had a receipt checked.

  20. Trillion says:

    I’m waiting for CEO’s to be replaced by AI. I realize this won’t happen because then the savings would be passed…..downward. And when has that ever been a thing?

  21. Glamarazzi says:

    I’m just here for the thumbnail you chose of a hot guy carrying groceries. Has nothing to do with the article, but got me to click, so well done.

  22. Kate says:

    I only like self checkout if it’s faster than waiting in line but I’m honestly coming around on the benefits of cashier ring-up even if you’re not in the mood to interact with someone. I’m starting to get annoyed by how loud the self checkouts are (“Please place your APPLESSSS!! in the bagging area” “your total is ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS AND SEVENTY THREE CENTS!!”). Like I don’t need everyone in the whole area knowing my business. And even though Aldi has good checkouts that don’t bother weighing the bagging area so you can put stuff back in your cart, they RUSH you! If you don’t scan something every 5 seconds it loudly tells you to PLEASE SCAN YOUR NEXT ITEM, like relax, factory overlord, i understand the process.

  23. QuiteContrary says:

    I find self-checkouts incredibly frustrating. I worked as a cashier in high school, so I’m pretty competent at using them, but often the people in front of me aren’t, and the error screen seems to pop up constantly, so everyone has to wait for an employee to clear it. This can happen repeatedly during one person’s order.

    Bring back staffed checkouts and, while you’re at it, staffed gas pumps, too. (I love that New Jersey requires the latter.)

    • ACB says:

      Woo, NJ!

    • Becks1 says:

      LOL my husband is from NJ and now we live in MD. I had never seen a full service gas station here before – but there is one that’s kind of old school (not a chain) and its a few miles from our house, right on the route my MIL takes when she drives here. She thinks its a sign – she loves stopping at Charlie’s and he usually gives her werther’s but last time he didnt have any and felt bad so she gave him some (that he probably gave to her last time she was here hahahaha.)

  24. Mika says:

    These stores treat their customers like shit, the customers respond in kind.

  25. BKittyb says:

    I use self-checkout at times, but mostly if I don’t see any cashiers at the front of a store. I believe in trying to support humans working as much as I can. I also don’t like to use the kiosks because the store associates follow Black people and brown people super closely while white shoplifters rob the store clean. There have been plenty of times I’ve been bird-dogged by associates while white folks have walked out with makeup, magazines, clothes, and, one time, even an entire gaming system. It took security two associates and a police officer to stop one but that was only after a white lady yelled that a person hadn’t paid and took their attention off me and two other non-whites folks at the kiosks.

  26. Grandma Susan says:

    They should be giving discounts for using self-checkout. They don’t.

    • Lorelei says:

      This is a great point

    • theotherviv says:

      Exactly. Everytime someone tries to shoo me to one I now always say „I don‘t work here, but thank you“ When I get an employee discount, then I will start scanning. Especially at Ikea I will not do it even if the line is miles long. There are people who need jobs. You don’t even have to speak the native language of a country to work a credit card only cash till. I have friends who approve of self check out but are upset about refugees not working.

  27. Sass says:

    Honestly good. I’m tired of the fact that these have slowly taken over to the point that they are no longer efficient. We have a couple of grocery stores here – different chains – that have only added more self checkout and then there will be 20 rows of empty traditional checkout lanes and only two operating so EVERYONE is lined up to the back aisle (not exaggerating). Seems like it’s more expensive to keep investing in this subpar tech with new fancy gadgetry which only further slows the checkout process. Maybe they should’ve just paid living wages this whole time…

  28. Mel says:

    I’m sorry, but who thought that this wouldn’t happen? Anybody? Anybody? There’s always a problem and those lines are always longer than the cashier. I never self-check out because a) I don’t work there b) The people working their shouldn’t have their jobs taken away due to unfettered greed.

  29. Boxy Lady says:

    I love the self checkout and I use as much as I can. Where I live, plastic bags have been outlawed and the checkout people won’t bag your groceries. This weekend, I had to go to the regular checkout line. While the cashier was ringing up my stuff, I was bagging them myself so I didn’t notice that she double-charged me for a $7 item until later. I’m going back to self checkout. The store is stealing from ME, not the other way around.

  30. DaveW says:

    Costco having issues is sort of a surprise because of the receipt checking, but the people checking carts range from super diligent to just scanning; I guess you play dumb if you get caught? I have noticed they are now checking and verifying cards at self checkout to cut down on nonmembers borrowing cards.

    While I prefer self checkout, the two places I shop most often, Trader Joe’s and a local small grocery chain, only have cashiers and it’s fine too.

  31. Mommadawna says:

    Yeah!!!! We did it guys! We won!!

  32. Eden75 says:

    I love self-check out. I am an anti-social person, even though I have always worked in people-centric jobs, and like not having to speak to anyone while I am out and about.

    My other half is in the tech industry, so the people who build the units, build and maintain the software, and keep the units running, thank you for your patronage.

    As a heads up, a lot of the people who do the back end work on these units are not high paying tech jobs. MANY are minimum wage, or just over. It takes a lot of workers behind the scenes that no one thinks about, because like anything tech, it just runs on its own, right?

  33. Anon33Guest says:

    I like the self check-outs because I am picky about how things are bagged. Well not picky – I just don’t like my bread, bananas, chips, etc getting smushed. I also like to distribute the weight across bags. With self check-out I can bag how I like it.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I thought there were studies showing that employee theft is a bigger problem than customers shoplifting.

  35. T says:

    Actually, I’m mad they’re going away. I find really efficient and like not dealing with anyone or having another layer of hands touch my stuff.

  36. Veronica S. says:

    Oh thank God. They were great when they were an additional line to dash through, not literally replacing the majority of cashiers. Half of why I moved more of my shopping online is because I got fed up of going to places with only 1-2 people and ten self serve open. Like come on. That’s just ridiculous. May as well take myself out of the equation, too.

  37. TurbanMa says:

    People find any way to steal going back 20 years ago I was with a friend in a natural foods coop who was dutifully shopping the bulk bin section mislabelling her choices so she could get for example organic macadamia nuts for the price of regular peanuts etc. I was shocked and disappointed 👎🏻

  38. Abigail says:

    Since moving to Korea where theft is basically non-existant I forgot about how much people steal in the West. Crazy.

  39. Lily says:

    I’m kind of glad online learning and self checkout weren’t the golden geese the 1%ers thought they would be prior to lockdown.

  40. Lily says:

    I worked retail. It’s inaccurate to assume most thefts are done by poor people. Our security team caught people of all ages, colors and economic backgrounds.

  41. KatInChicago says:

    I am shocked by those saying it is okay to steal from stores. Don’t do it- it isn’t worth it. You’ll get caught.

    We’ve all seen the viral video of the shopper scanning a kool aid packet instead of diapers- the store is going to know. It isn’t right and the cost with already inflated prices is passed on to us all.

    Target here has really advanced cameras. According to the cops- they can even zero in on the numbers on your credit card, a name tag on an employee, license plate on your car. Just don’t.