Dive Brief:

  • Walmart is removing self-checkout kiosks at select locations, including two stores in Shrewsbury, Missouri, and Cleveland, in favor of associate-staffed checkout lines, Business Insider reported last week and a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to CX Dive Monday.
  • The retailer already removed self-checkout lanes from three stores in New Mexico last year. “We currently have no additional conversions to announce,” a Walmart spokesperson told CX Dive.
  • The decision was based on feedback from employees and customers, shopping behavior and business needs at those particular locations. “We believe the changes will improve the in-store shopping experience and give our associates the chance to provide more personalized and efficient service,” a Walmart spokesperson told CX Dive.

Dive Insight:

Walmart joins large retailers including Target and Dollar General in scaling back or amending its self-checkout processes.

Last month, Target limited self-checkout lanes to 10 items or less and gave store managers more control over the ratio of self-checkout lanes to cashier-operated lanes. 

Dollar General also said in March that it would reduce self-checkout at thousands of locations and remove it entirely from 300 locations most prone to shoplifting. At the same time, Dollar General is increasing staffing for checkout assistance

“While self-checkout has contributed to the convenient proposition for our customers in certain stores, it does not reduce the importance of a friendly, helpful employee who is there to greet customers and assist while the checkout process is happening,” Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said during an earnings call in December.

Self-service and cashier-operated checkout lanes are not an either or solution, and instead work best in tandem, experts told CX Dive.

While self-service can be beneficial to a customer who doesn’t want to speak to a store associate, self-checkout has its limitations. It can sometimes add friction to the process, especially during payment or if an associate isn’t nearby to help if there is an issue.

Walmart already allows its store managers the freedom to adjust the number of cashiers to self-checkout lanes based on need.


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