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It’s not convenient for me to help corporations fire workers so they raise their profits. I stand in line and when the lines back up, the store calls more cashiers to the front. If we keep doing it, they’ll need to hire more people. NEVER SELF CHECKOUT

Retailers tell us that self-checkouts are all about providing more choice, convenience and speed, and some consumers may embrace the shorter queues they can bring. However, it can be very frustrating when they go wrong. One (admittedly unscientific) 2014 poll found that 93% of people dislike them. What’s more, they even drive some shoppers to theft.

In many stores, four human cashiers could be replaced by one worker who directs crowds to banks of self-service tills – which many customers dislike (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Scan-and-go systems let customers ring up items while shopping

NEW YORK – Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after they’re done shopping? Old school. More stores are letting customer tally their choices with a phone app or store device as they roam the aisles.

For customers, scanning as they go can be faster and make it simpler to keep track of spending. For stores, the big expansion of this technology coming this year costs less than installing more self-checkouts.

Like many changes in retail, the expansion of scan-and-go comes from retailers trying to make store shopping more convenient and hang on to customers who have become used to Amazon, which just opened a cashier-less store in Seattle.

And like other automation technologies, it shifts more of the work to shoppers while freeing up employees for higher-value tasks. That’s especially critical as stores look for ways to make their workers more efficient as they wrestle with rising wages.


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