Thread Number: 36513  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Why self checkouts closed more than open?
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Post# 391131   4/26/2018 at 22:36 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I remember last year, my local Walmart opened another circle of self checkouts, such that there was now a circle of them on either end of the manned lanes. Usually at Walmart I use these lanes, even though I usually come in on the garden center side of the store to avoid all of the traffic. (Except at night as the garden center doors are closed after a certain time). The lines at the garden center lanes tend to be long, and often only one of the four is open.

Lately though, I've noticed the circle of checkouts at the right end has been closed on my last two visits.

There are also one or two conveyor self checkouts, but I've never messed with those as I rarely buy more than a few things at Walmart.

Another thing I've noticed is though my local Home Depot has all of its four self checkouts open, Lowes only has two IIRC, and they are rarely open. I did actually go on a weekend once a few weeks ago and found them open and used it.

I wonder if this has to do with high traffic times or not?

The first place I remember here to have self checkout was of all places, Kmart! They didn't have them long and of course since early this year Kmart is now a memory.

But Lowes, HD, and Walmart are the only places here to have them.

Post# 391138 , Reply# 1   4/27/2018 at 02:28 by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


I never use self-checkouts. As much as stores are charging for stuff nowadays, they can have an employee check out and package my purchases for me.

Post# 391143 , Reply# 2   4/27/2018 at 08:22 by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        
They can get out of calibration,

dirty, then they don't work well. Some also when older.
Soon, many stores will be using rfid scanning of your order. Your bank account will be on file with the stores secure vpn network.
As you shop, it will tally your bill. When you finish, it will total it, and charge your account at the check out station.
Either you can use your phone app., or an in store portable scanner will be provided. if you return an item to the shelf, it will be subtracted from your order.

Post# 391144 , Reply# 3   4/27/2018 at 08:39 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
The Walmart near me closes its self-checkout after about 9:00 p.m. The first self-checkout I ever saw was at a Kroger in Lexington, Ky. about 20 years ago. I kind of feel like they're a mixed blessing that can create a traffic bottleneck if not managed properly. Done right, they can be a boon for the store's labor cost in that one cashier can oversee a half-dozen registers instead of just one. In my experience, one of the biggest issues is often the customer's expertise--or lack thereof--in operating the equipment. Several years ago, I was in Sam's Club and the people in front of me at the self-checkout hadn't the first clue how to operate it. The store associates who were supposed to assist the customers were just looking on with amusement at their struggles, so I stepped in and assisted them. Having just gotten off work at the part-time retail job I had at the time, I just stepped right back into cashier mode and had their entire cart scanned in about a minute. It really helped that that particular self-checkout had a handheld scanner, as do Walmart's. An associate did eventually step up and help the customer get all of her stuff back into her cart while I scanned. Still, I really had to bite back to keep from making a snide comment about her and her colleagues' lack of initial willingness to fully assist this customer.

Post# 391174 , Reply# 4   4/27/2018 at 22:01 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I imagine there's a combined problem with self checkouts.

A. They're more complicated machines than an ordinary register, they have a scale to weigh your bags, they're basically a register and ATM combined, and have to be loaded with cash, coins, and receipt paper often, and they're a computer and a barcode reader too. They probably need a little more attention than the staff is willing or able to deal with. Hence why you'll often see them closed, out of order, or credit card only.

B. If the store has too many cashiers on hand, they must man their stations, because they're on the clock. If that means closing the self checkouts, then so be it. And especially the way the big box stores treat employees these days (everyone's part time so they don't get benefits, and on constantly changing schedules), it's no wonder that even with computers managing employee hours, they'll have a surplus of cashiers sometimes.

I'll use a self checkout sometimes, if convenient. But I'm with electrolux137, I'm paying enough for them to provide a cashier.

Post# 391901 , Reply# 5   5/12/2018 at 14:39 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana, United States)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
What time are you going? They are usually closed at night during non-peak hours for maintenance. They can break down a lot so they often are out of order. People often mash too hard on the touchscreen and break the digitizer rendering it useless. I never care to use a self checkout because with all the buttons and crap you have to click on, a cashier could have scanned it in faster.

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Post# 391904 , Reply# 6   5/12/2018 at 20:22 by vacmanaustin (Pennsylvania)        

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I use the self checkout at Walmart and Target only. It's just easier, both stores are usually mobbed all the time because they're the only stores within a reasonable distance away and I don't want to wait 1/2 hour in the regular checkout just to buy dog food and toilet paper.

Post# 391957 , Reply# 7   5/14/2018 at 15:13 by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        
Meijer stores

are eliminating the over 12 items self heck outs as they remodel stores.

Post# 391991 , Reply# 8   5/15/2018 at 18:00 by cuffs054 (monticello, ga)        

Ingles today, all four scan it yourself lanes empty and open. One frigging real lane open and back up to hell. Manager finally came over and took my cart to self check and did it himself. What a waste of his time.

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