SELF-checkout stations are popping up in more big name stores, including Kohl’s, H&M, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Zara.
The technology aims to expedite the checkout process for customers and reduce labor costs but some shoppers argue the new kiosks lead to problems.
Kohls, H&M, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Zara are currently testing the self-checkout option, ABC News reported.
Shelly Kohan, a retail expert with Syracuse University, explained how the pandemic has led more people to become comfortable using technology.
“The timing for department stores to test this out is actually great because consumers are really at a different place in terms of using technology within a store,” said Kohan.
Kohan added that the new stations increase efficiency for stores.
Retailers previously needed an employee behind each register but with a self-checkout kiosk, one person can supervise multiple stations at once.
Despite easing the checkout process, there are some risks involved with implementing self-checkout stations.
Some worry that the new stations will open the door to theft.
“Theft in terms of customers either scanning a lower price of an item, but putting a more expensive one in their bag, theft in terms of not scanning something and just putting it in the bag,” Kohan explained.
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Some people make innocent mistakes, forgetting to add an item to the cart.
“You have customers that just make mistakes when they’re scanning, and that’s really not intentional, but it’s still going to be a loss,” Kohan added.
For individuals who are not tech-savvy, this could be especially frustrating.
One Facebook user reacted negatively to the news, writing: “Great- more opportunities where I can FORGET to scan items.”
Another person expressed their concerns about shoplifting, commenting: “Can you say shop lift?”
However, Kohan remains mostly optimistic about the new stations.
She emphasized that department stores have the opportunity to learn from some of the mistakes made by grocery stores that have already navigated the self-checkout space.
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