Walmart Removes Self-checkout from Select Stores

Walmart Removes Self-checkout from Select Stores

The retailer joins Target, Dollar General, and other chains in recalibrating its reliance on self-service and rethinking the checkout experience.

Walmart joins large retailers, including Target and Dollar General, in scaling back or amending its self-checkout processes.

Last month, Target limited self-checkout lanes to 10 items or fewer and gave store managers more control over the ratio of self-checkout lanes to cashier-operated lanes.

Dollar General also said in March that it would reduce self-checkout at thousands of locations and remove it entirely from 300 locations most prone to shoplifting. At the same time, Dollar General is increasing staffing for checkout assistance.

“While self-checkout has contributed to the convenient proposition for our customers in certain stores, it does not reduce the importance of a friendly, helpful employee who is there to greet customers and assist while the checkout process is happening,” Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said during an earnings call in December.

Experts said that self-service and cashier-operated checkout lanes are not an either-or solution but work best in tandem.

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While self-service can be beneficial to a customer who doesn’t want to speak to a store associate, self-checkout has its limitations. It can sometimes add friction to the process, especially during payment or if an associate isn’t nearby to help if there is an issue.

Walmart allows its store managers to adjust the number of cashiers in self-checkout lanes based on need.