Costco Cutting Self-Checkout
On the heels of Walmart’s announced plans to add more self-checkout systems, around 10,000 more to be exact, Costco has announced that it will totally eliminate self-checkout in all of its stores.
“They are great for low-volume warehouses, but we don’t want to be in the low-volume warehouse business,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek told Bloomberg Businessweek. He also said his employees do a better job and that they are more efficient.
Walmart sees the technology as a convenience to its customers and it has the potential to save the company millions of dollars, although the company has said it has no plans to eliminate any cashier positions. The company has also experienced positive results so far with its innovative Scan & Go self- checkout program and plans to roll out the testing into more stores this year.
Theft is a major drawback to self-checkout, especially in high volume stores. There are also many cases where a scanned item is rejected but customers do not realize and end up leaving the store without actually purchasing the item. A Costco in Idaho discontinued self-checkout last year after attributing a $60,000 inventory loss to it over just a six month period, according to a Costco management source.
Consumers either love them or they hate them. It seems there’s no in-between for opinions on self-checkout POS. It can be convenient and quicker than traditional checkout if the system is working properly, yet the customer service experience is gone. Retailers across various industries hold the same opinions. They either love them or hate them, and Costco is yet another large retailer to eliminate self-checkout from its operations.