Retail experts are predicting the decline of self-checkouts at major retailers like Walmart and Costco, attributing it to the rising concerns over retail crime. Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, anticipates the demise of self-checkouts, which gained popularity since the late 80s and were projected to cover 65% of Walmart’s services by 2025. Customer opinions on self-checkouts are mixed, with some appreciating the lack of employee interaction, while others express frustration with technology glitches and the added responsibility.
The pandemic has seen a surge in retail crime, prompting big retailers to secure merchandise behind plexiglass doors. There’s a growing belief that self-checkouts contribute to increased crime, allowing some customers to leave without paying for items. While self-checkouts initially served the purpose of reducing human contact during the pandemic, both customers and workers are signaling that these changes are not sustainable. Workers express frustration with managing customer rushes at self-checkouts, and customers report that the process can be time-consuming, particularly at stores like Costco that inspect receipts at exits.
As an alternative to self-checkouts, Lempert envisions the rise of technology that captures payment details upon entry and charges customers as they leave. This shift reflects a potential evolution in retail technology to address the challenges self-checkouts pose……….[read more]
Considering the evolving landscape of retail technology and the potential decline of self-checkouts, how might these changes impact the role of employees in major retail chains, and what skills would become more valuable for individuals seeking employment in the retail sector?
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