Self checkout has been around for over 20 years now. I think they’ve figured out that it’s worth it.
At the Trader Joe’s I go to, the person letting people in watches the exit (which is very close by). When a customer exits, they let another in. Letting ten or more in at once probably only happens at the beginning of the day. I’ve started to go earlier in the day and found the line shorter. But even with that, I still usually go through the store in less time than I’m spending outside in line.
Yes the store is emptier, but maintaining a 6-foot buffer means it’s only apparently emptier. I frequently have to wait for people to move away from the shelf I want to get something from, something that would not have been an issue before.
At the Trader Joe’s I go to here in NYC, even though the line outside may be long, there is almost never a line to checkout. Only one time since this all started did I have to wait behind more than 4 people once actually on line to checkout, and most times I can just walk right to a cashier! I much prefer it this way.
Some. Less than the cost of training and paying hourly wages for several cashiers, it would seem.
I imagine there are a few who cheat, when I use shop and scan I’m absolutely against any sort of cheating because I love the app and want it to remain an option. If I’m buying organic produce I don’t cheat and scan in a regular code I use the correct code.
However it’s very easy to overcharge yourself. Once in a while something will scan in multiple times and if you don’t catch it you’ll pay for it. But I’ve never had pushback from customer service, I go back with my receipt and show them I bought one steak but I charged myself for 3, or I bought one phone case @ 19.99 and charged myself for two.
Years ago when shopping with my mother, we had all kinds of trouble with scanning produce items at the self-checkout, which is why I avoided them for a long time. But lately, one of the cashiers told me that I can just scan the barcode on the produce sticker, if that’s there. Otherwise, the cashier who hangs out in the self-checkout area can assist. So I’ve started to use it once again. The other day, there was a very long line for the regular checkouts but the self-checkout line was much shorter so that’s what I used.
Occasional lurker here. This post encouraged me to finally sign up.
I believe there is a bigger picture issue here. As already noted, this began before covid changed everything, and I believe it’s an effort by retailers not only to compete with Amazon, but to compete for the stake in fulfillment service. The uber, postmates, and instacarts of the world are pushing their way into every opportunity they can, and often by using less than ethical means of doing so.
In many cases, the app service partners with the business, allowing the business to have item/menu and financial management, at a commission that can be over 30%. In other cases, the app service takes it upon themselves to find a menu/item list online, host it, and send their independent contractors there to place the order or shop in person and pay with a company offered card authorized for this one purchase. If all goes straightforward, the business is unaware that a third party is involved. But the business may be out of an item, prices may have changed, and so on. The app service makes money by listing items at higher prices, which is a misrepresentation of the businesses offerings.
The objective in case B is often to later approach the business armed with the sales generated as an argument for why the business should partner, at the negotiated commission.
In the case of Wal mart, it’s in their best interest to establish a curbside pickup system, get it running smoothly, and have it established in the minds of customers before third parties force their way in. It will be less costly to pay some employees to do the fulfillment work than it would be to pay a third party, plus they get full control of their online presence.
Third party fulfillment services are growing in popularity, and the generation that is college-
Phantom tap posted before finishing. Messed up my first post. The last paragraph should be:
Third party fulfillment services are growing in popularity, and people have shown willingness to spend extra for luxury convenience services, particularly the generation that is currently college-age. By establishing their own fulfillment services, businesses are trying to keep it so that their own services are a legitimate option
Trader Joe’s is losing our household’s business entirely until it’s safe to set foot in indoor public places.
I have not set foot in a grocery store since mid-March, and as much of a control freak foodie as I am, I am also asthmatic and plan to stick to delivery or curbside pickup for the foreseeable future. My stepmother went to the grocery store in a mask; that was the riskiest thing she did, and she’s dead now.
Perhaps a friend could go into Trader Joe’s on your behalf? I assume you know what, in general you want from there, so perhaps a friend could shop for you and leave it at your doorstep.
We aren’t going into stores. There are other options and we are keeping our risk low.
Well, there isn’t a ton of stuff at Trader Joe’s that we can’t get elsewhere, and part of the fun of TJ’s is browsing and seeing what new stuff there is. We don’t tend to eat a lot of prepared foods, so there’s really nothing there that we can’t live without. If we get to holiday baking season, though, I will have to deputize someone to get me some Pound Plus chocolate bars, which are great bang for the buck for that purpose.
The potential is significant. One time I had walked out and was already driving home before I realized I had forgotten to scan two large boxes of cat litter and an 18 lb. bag of kibble. I went back to the store and took pictures of the barcodes with my phone, and then went back inside and scanned my photos at the self checkout. Nobody every noticed or said anything to me, and I was glad to be able to rectify the issue without having to admit to what amounted to a change of heart after shoplifting.
I’ll tell you one definite thing about curbside pickup, order online and pickup, and all those other variations. If you still want to do your shopping the old fashioned way of driving to the market and picking out your own groceries, the good parking spots are never for you anymore.
A lot. It’s the reason self-service is constantly supervised (which it was not, at first), but even that doesn’t stop it.
A contributing fact is that for prosecution of theft, the store has to show that the action was deliberate. As mentioned here, people make mistakes doing self checkout. Those avocados that went through as potatoes? Legitimate mistake. Thumb drive in the ‘bring your own bag’? Same thing. Figs in your pockets? Same thing.
It’s not the same thing as walking out with a 30 packs of quad-blade razors: it’s a whole new source of shrinkage.
There’s a tip involved in curbside pickup at your supermarket? Am I the only one who doesn’t know this?
Long before Corona the big supermarkets in the UK started doing home deliveries. I used it several times with no major problems. They then started “Click and Collect” which seems to work slightly differently from your ‘curbside’.
During the pandemic, delivery slots were very difficult to get, but collections were easier. There is a loading bay at the front of the store and you book a time. Even at peak times I rarely saw much of a queue. Collection is free and of course, we don’t tip anyone either.
I still do a weekly in-store shop - I get little enough exercise anyway and seeing stuff gives me inspiration for meals.
I scan my shopping as I go round the store. Most of the time, I can breeze through the checkout with no problem. If I have wine or buy any meat from the butcher (or steaks from the shelf) an assistant has to tell the computer that I am old enough and/or scanned the items with special labels.
There are also random checks. Sometimes just a few items and, around once a year, a full check. I have been caught out twice. Both times for some produce that I forgot to weigh and the nice lady on the checkout seemed fairly unconcerned.
The only stuff i buy at trader Joe’s is stuff i can’t get elsewhere. Unadulterated wild rice, triple ginger snaps, bottles of cherry and blueberry juice, those addictive fruit-flavored jellies. Their awesome frozen baked goods.
I guess i also buy their cheap smoked salmon and their affordable bars of valrhona chocolate. But mostly I’m there for their specialty items.
It’s obviously voluntary and I don’t know if it is common, but I started doing it because those people were putting themselves at risk for my benefit and it pleased me to tip them. I also think I started getting better service. One shopper I dealt with repeatedly would sub a higher price item at the lower price if the lower priced one was unavailable. She always called to check before substituting items. Still I am happier to choose my own groceries.