There are few things more awkward than a self-checkout machine announcing to the whole store that you’ve placed an “unexpected item in the bagging area,” requiring a human worker to remedy the situation.
- Self-checkout accounted for 30% of US grocery transactions in 2021, up from 18% in 2018.
- Some chains, like Walmart, Kroger, Dollar General, and Albertsons are testing self-checkout-only stores.
The machines, with $14k-$40k price tags, can cut costs for retailers and may be necessary — grocery employee turnover was 48% in 2021. It also offers customers some extra speed and reduced human interaction.
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