Customers say it’s faster, but worry it might cost cashiers their jobs.
By KATISHI MAAKE | Morning Brew | July 19, 2021
The race for retail domination is entering its next phase: Walmart is testing a self-checkout-only store in Plano, Texas.
Next, please: Walmart wants to know if this innovation is better than the traditional store model, The Dallas Morning News notes. Walmart opened its first all-self-checkout superstore in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last summer, but Plano is a much bigger market.
- Would-be cashiers, or “customer hosts,” wait on standby to help shoppers.
- Customers say the checkout process is faster and there are no lines, but they are still worried about employees losing jobs.
That sentiment jibes with larger-scale trends: 70% of shoppers said self-checkout has made in-store shopping easier, but the same number are worried that increased automation will lead to retailers cutting jobs, per a June Retail Brew/Harris Poll survey.
- “I know of a couple of cashiers who lost their jobs,” a customer told The Dallas Morning News. “But now there’s never a line, and there used to always be lines here.”
Zoom out: Target, Kroger, Costco, and plenty of others have recently upgraded their self-checkout processes, but still offer the typical cashier experience. Amazon is a step ahead with its “Just Walk Out” tech.
- But it’s worth noting that only 30% of shoppers want more technology integrated into their shopping experience, per our June poll.—KM