Self-checkout machines are an increasingly common sight throughout all types of stores around the country. You can see them in the bigger markets, smaller markets, local shops, McDonald’s, and now in Walmart too.
Currently, in Walmart, you have the choice of whether you want to go to a self-checkout machine or a cashier. The first location where Walmart has gone fully cashier-free is in Fayetteville Arkansas, and they say that if everything goes according to plan, they would make the rest of their stores cashier-free as well.
The Fayetteville Walmart store has started the self-checkout only function to test and see how things will go. In the beginning, there will be hosts near the self-checkout machines that will assist customers that need help checking their groceries.
If everything turns out to work as intended, Walmart will make all their stores function this way. They don’t know exactly when that will happen as they’re collecting feedback from customers and employees, but they want the transition to go as smoothly as possible.
The main reason for this transition is cost-savings for the company
The money used to pay cashiers would be saved if they’re replaced by self-checkout machines, but the downside is that these savings won’t lower any prices for the customers.
The reactions and comments about the self-checkout machines from managers, journalists, and customers have been mixed. The proponents of these machines say that they provide more privacy for the customers. If they buy some items that might be more personal, they would have a more private environment. On the other hand, some customers feel like they’re doing work that needs to be paid. Others have said that they find these machines not so simple to use and usually there are one or two hosts that watch over more than 10 machines so customers that can’t use these machines alone have to wait for the worker to come and help them. People are also concerned about so many cashiers losing their jobs as well.
How does the future look like?
Likely, the self-checkout machines are here to stay, but cashiers are not going to become extinct just yet. A big percentage of customers prefer cashiers, and big companies wouldn’t risk unhappy customers for some savings that the machines will bring.
The story for Walmart is similar, but if their experiment proves to be successful, we might slowly see a reduction in the number of cashiers around the country.