Self-Checkout Grocery – You Are Going to Use that Machine

Self-Checkout Grocery – You’re Going To Use That Self-Checkout Machine Whether You Like It Or Not

We may not realize it, but retailers are conditioning us to be our own cashiers.
By Dave Jamieson from Huffington Post 5/24/2018  Story Link

self-checkout kiosk

Excerpt:

Self-checkout appears to be growing in retail. How much of it is really driven by consumers, rather the retailers?

Self-checkout appears to be growing in retail. How much of it is really driven by consumers, rather the retailers?

Customers checking out at Amber Vankleeck’s Walmart store in Tennessee find two convenient options before them: They can take their groceries to a bank of self-checkout machines and start scanning the items themselves, or they can wait in line for a living, breathing cashier like Vankleek who’s much more efficient at it.

But to a certain degree, the choice is already being made for them. Vankleeck says that at her store, management wants 65 percent of all customers going through self-checkout rather than traditional registers. Since many shoppers dislike the machines, the workers themselves often have to nudge them there ― even if it means siphoning work away from wage-earning cashiers.

“They want the self-checkout host to pull as many customers to self-checks as they can,” explained Vankleeck, 23. “They want you to invite them over, say, ‘Hey, have you used our self-checkouts? If not, I’d be happy to show you how it works.’”

After two decades of freeze-ups and unfamiliar items in the bagging area, self-checkout may be in the midst of an expansion. RBR, a research firm focused on banking and retail automation, says that self-checkout terminals recently had a “breakout year,” with global sales increasing by 67 percent in 2016; a surge in U.S. big-box stores purchases was a driving factor. NCR Corporation, the leading manufacturer of self-checkout machines, says it’s had record growth over the past two years.

The way retailers and industry watchers tell it, self-checkout is growing because customers want it to grow. Tech-savvy millennials would rather deal with a machine than make small talk, and even old-school shoppers might like to avoid a long cashier line if they’ve only got a couple items.

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said shoppers’ preferences dictate what the checkout lane looks like. “The way people are shopping is changing, and the pace of change is only going to increase,” Lundberg said. “Our focus is on providing the options our customers are looking for and helping them save time and money.”

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