Self-Checkout Benefits Retailers and Consumers
By George Anderson
Consumers who use self-checkouts like it because of their perception that they are moving through the checkout faster than going through a lane manned by a cashier.
Retailers like self-checkouts because a growing number of consumers like them and also because they can save labor costs and, as it turns out, losses due to shrink.
Helen Wilde, NCR’s self-service solution specialist in the U.K., told the Retail Bulletin, “There was a lot of nervousness when it (self-checkout) was first launched – people thought we were mad and that it’d be so easy to steal. In fact 67 percent of retailers said the switch to self-service had absolutely no effect and the rest said it actually improved shrinkage because it cut out cashier error – thieves tend to operate away from the till area anyway where there’s fewer people.”
Self-checkouts are gaining in popularity in the U.K. following a similar pattern to what has taken place in the U.S. Grocery stores were first to rollout the checkouts and other formats have begun to follow.
Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer are all making significant investments in the technology. Tesco, for example, operates a store in London that has 60 percent of its checkouts as self-serve.
Moderator’s Comment: How can retailers use self-checkout to create a point of difference and a competitive advantage over others using or not using the
George Anderson – Moderator