I Hate Self-Checkouts

I have always avoided the ever-growing self-checkouts whenever possible. I did so for two reasons

They took away jobs for those who have low skills. – Not everyone has the ambition and the ability to learn the skills necessary for higher paying jobs. Some simply have other priorities. But, I do recognize that many of these low paying jobs are going unfilled. Help wanted signs are almost everywhere you look. I don’t know what happened to those who used to work at these sorts of things like supermarket checkouts? Where did they go for their income? Maybe this rationale is fading into the background as a reason to avoid self-checkouts?

No two self-checkouts are the same – This is the biggie for me. Every time I go through one of them, I have to learn an entirely new process. Why can’t they standardize on one method of doing it. Some are well human factored, some are disasters. It’s kind of like Ford deciding to put the accelerator on the left side of the brake pedal. Confusion, and accidents, would increase significantly.

There are some stores that now have nothing but self-checkouts. My local Lowes Home Center is one of them, so now I shop exclusively at Menards. Krogers is one that is trending in that direction, so I am spending more of my food dollars at the Fresh Thyme Market that remains a full-service grocery.

On a side note, customer service is also disappearing from the retail establishments. Maybe that is one of the reasons that on-line shopping is becoming so dominant. Or maybe it is the result of that competition? But, as far as I am concerned, having to do your own scanning and bagging is not the way to counter the on-line marketers. In fact, it is likely driving more of us to do our shopping on-line.

I am anxious to try Amazon’s new on-sight retail stores that bypass the check-out entirely. If the present on-sight retailers don’t pick up their game, they will likely go the way of Sears, Penney’s, and many others, who, for the most part, are no longer in business because they didn’t keep up with the times.

5 thoughts on “I Hate Self-Checkouts

  1. Hi Peter, I’s been a while since I have heard from you my friend. I hope self-checkouts are not a permanent extension from Covid, but I imagine they are. At least until they are proven to drive customers to those who still provide the service.

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  2. I see your point, but I have to say I love self checkouts. 🤷‍♀️ I am best at bagging my food so it doesn’t get destroyed on the way home. And I’m quick. As well, I don’t think they can find people to fill the checkouts. There is one person helping the entire (10+ station) checkout area.

    My favorite is shop and scan, which technically should be quickest. Scan your products as you shop, then just download your cart to the specialized checkout station. But technical problems on multiple occasions have made that option questionable. I know – first world problems. Most days I’m happy and grateful. 😊

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    1. I knew I would find someone who loves them. 🥴. I don’t mind the bagging and scanning but the inconsistency of presentation really bugs me. Some have 3 screens you have to check to find what to do next. The one I used recently had 4, and I didn’t see the fourth one. Had to wait for someone to point it out to me. The customers behind me didn’t appreciate that.

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      1. Ah! Well, I confess I only use it at a couple stores in the area and have just gotten used to it, I guess. 🙂

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