Walmart Decides to Remove Self-Checkouts at Some Stores, Here’s Why

In a bid to combat rising crime rates and provide better customer service, retail giant Walmart has made the decision to eliminate self-checkout machines at two of its locations. The move comes as a response to concerns over theft and customer dissatisfaction with the self-checkout experience. By replacing these unmanned kiosks with staffed lanes, Walmart aims to enhance personalized and efficient service for its customers.

Walmart’s choice to remove self-checkouts is primarily driven by the high rates of theft associated with these machines. Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData, states that theft rates at self-checkouts are reasonably high due to deliberate actions and accidental mistakes. By transitioning to manned checkouts, Walmart hopes to mitigate these issues and save costs in the long run.

Additionally, a recent study conducted by Drexel University in Pennsylvania reveals that self-checkout machines often leave shoppers irritated. Customers express frustration at having to handle the entire checkout process themselves, leading to a less satisfactory shopping experience. Walmart acknowledges this dissatisfaction and aims to improve customer convenience and satisfaction by providing staffed lanes.

The two Walmart stores where self-checkouts will be removed are located in Cleveland, Ohio, and Shrewsbury, Missouri. The decision to target these specific locations is based on feedback from associates and customers, shopping patterns, and business needs in the respective areas. However, Walmart has not disclosed whether these two stores are the only ones affected or if further announcements will be made regarding the removal of self-checkouts in other locations.

Walmart is not the only retailer taking action against self-checkouts. Dollar General, recognizing the high levels of shoplifting and mis-scanned items, has decided to remove self-checkout lanes completely from 300 of its stores. This move is expected to have a positive impact on shrink, according to Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos.

Similarly, Target has implemented limitations on self-checkout kiosks, allowing customers to use them only for purchases of up to 10 items. This restriction aims to enhance the overall shopping experience for customers.

Walmart’s decision to remove self-checkouts coincides with its recent store closures in Chicago, Illinois, due to poor performance and worsening crime rates in the area. This move highlights the impact of rising crime rates on retailers’ operations and the need for resolution from city officials. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has warned that if the issue of shoplifting is not adequately addressed, more store closures may follow.

The closure of the four Chicago locations comes after Walmart shut down its remaining two stores in Portland, Oregon, last year. The company’s decision to close stores is a direct response to the increase in shoplifting incidents.

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