By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Technology
Data analytics confirm it: theft is five times higher in self-checkout lanes. Can the technology catch up to thieves?
Aside from the fact that these machines encourage sluggish behavior -- in my experience, it always takes at least twice as long to pay for my goods in a self-checkout lane, despite my best efforts -- it turns out that they also attract less-than-honest activity: shoplifting.
Kundu's company has seen people scanning their Starbucks as bananas, leaving their items in the cart or reusable bag instead of scanning them and overloading the bagging area so that un-scanned merchandise can be piled on without being sensed.
Theft is five times higher in self-checkout lanes, according to the report. Stores such as Home Depot use employees to monitor self-checkout lanes, but the problem persists.
While Walmart and CVS add self-service lanes, other stores are removing them for "customer service" reasons, which includes theft and inconvenience. Still, the tech is predicted to grow by 10 percent in the next few years, according to research firm IHL Group.
New, smarter, more sensitive systems promise faster turnover and reduced theft -- but as always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Unless the pudding has been pilfered, that is.
Apr 8, 2012
My local CVS recently adopted the "strongly encouraged" self checkout system. The monitors are always hostile, particularly if I ask for standard check out. When I explain I don't like self checkout, they get even ruder. Don't they realize the "self check out" feature has cost them hours and pay? There is usually no place to set down the basket so you can get into your purse if needed (or adjust the child you're holding). There is always something wrong with one of the prices of the items you're buying. The scanner doesn't like your coupon for some reason. If the monitor has to step in to assist, what's the point of self check out? It's great if I'm buying one item and the regular cashier has a long line. Other than that, I'd rather wait in line and get service. I have actually stopped going to CVS for this reason.
put up by bb_apptix. If we use the self-checkout, we should get a discount. Good idea, though I doubt it will be implemented. As for speed of a self-check-out. I often go faster than with a 'checked' line, but have seen people who don't have a clue and take forever. For the 'adds monitor personnel', yes, one for every 2-8 self-checks, from what I've seen. Still saves the market money in terms of manpower.
Andrew, this article pretty much hits the nail on the head of the self-checkout issues, including: - Takes longer to checkout. - Customer cheating. - Elminates the checker, but adds "monitor" personnel. If a store wants me to check my own stuff, then they should add a discount to self-checked items. I avoid self-checkout like the plague, with one exception. If there are long lines and I have one item that weighs more than a few onces.
Why should customers have to do all the work of checking out? It's bad enough that half the time I have to bag the groceries myself because the store does not provide enough baggers. What's next, stocking the shelves ourselves?
These damn things put half of my family out of work!!! I refuse to use one, I will wait my turn in line.
...is because I hate standing in line. They don't take any longer to check out than standing in line does.