Shuttering Self-Checkout?

No more self-checkout at the grocery store?

According to the Dallas Morning News, several grocery store chains are going that direction. Some are eliminating self-checkout entirely (like Albertsons) while others are going to a Euro checkout style (like Krogers) where one main customer line feeds the multiple checkout registers.

While we’re not going to suggest that these stores are simply nuts for eliminating self-checkout (I haven’t yet seen the true, financial rationale they used to make this decision), there are some potential issues with shuttering self-checkout. The main issue is that some customers prefer self-checkout. It’s about choice. It’s about control. It’s about usually having a shorter wait. It’s about privacy.

There are LOTS of reasons why people like self-checkout, so my question comes down to “Are the financial benefits of not offering it (e.g., efficiency gains and potentially reduced theft) outweighing the potential in lost business from customers who will go elsewhere for this self-serve option?

When making decisions impacting the bottom line, make sure your business doesn’t just focus on cost savings. Make sure it takes into account the revenue impact of customer loss.

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