The Problem with Self-Checkouts

Sobia Shamim, Social Media Manager

Several companies, such as Walmart and Target, have reported a dramatic increase in the amount of retail theft they have experienced this year. Many customers and employees attribute the thievery to the installation of self-checkouts. Self-checkouts have been a way for customers to purchase items without any staff assistance, however, due to the lack of staff, stealing has become much more common.

The most commonly stolen items are butter, milk, and other daily items. Besides outright stealing, there has been an increase in mis-scanned items. For unpackaged items, a more expensive item such as an avocado gets scanned as a cheaper item such as an onion. In packaged items cases, the barcodes get switched. Whether these incidents are intentional or accidental, it just adds to how self-checkouts usually do more harm than good. 

While one could argue that self-checkouts provide a quicker shopping experience, they also have the ability to prolong the grocery store visit. Self-checkouts have flaws and many times a staff member needs to help fix them, causing one to stay at the checkout line for even longer than usual.

Overall, the cons of self-checkouts outweigh the pros, and while they seem like a good idea, they are not the best addition to stores, security and time-wise.