A Big Change Might Be Coming to Walmart's Checkout Lines and Customers Are Not Happy

What's going on with self-checkout?

<p>Adobe Stock/Allrecipes</p>

Adobe Stock/Allrecipes

One of the best things about shopping at Walmart is the convenience of self-checkout. Grabbing your items, quickly scanning, then paying makes a visit to the store no-muss, no-fuss. But according to some shoppers and employees, self-checkout could be living on borrowed time.

On TikTok a few weeks ago, @the_lingerers shared a video of closed-off self-checkout lines in their local Walmart and added that it was the second time and second location at which they’d seen self-checkout lines closed in favor of traditional lines manned by a staffer. And they weren’t alone.

“We got rid of self-checkout at my store,” posted one Reddit user (and apparent Walmart employee) a couple of weeks later. “They said all self-checkouts will be permanently closed except for two that are for Walmart+ Scan and Go and Walmart Spark,” they went on to explain.

What Is Walmart Spark and Walmart Scan & Go?

Walmart’s Scan & Go is a component of Walmart+ membership, a paid subscription that entitles users to a variety of benefits. Those include free delivery from the store, discounts at Walmart Fuel Stations, and Scan & Go. The last of those allows shoppers to scan items with their smart phones as they walk through the store.

As for Walmart Spark, it’s Walmart’s answer to InstaCart, a delivery app that allows drivers to pick up your groceries (or other shopping) for you and deliver it to your doorstep.

Is Walmart Getting Rid of Self Checkout Lines?

The short answer is it depends on the management at your nearest location. Today.com spoke to senior manager of corporate communications at Walmart, Kelsey Bohl, to find out whether this is a holistic change across the brand. “Store managers have the autonomy to make decisions about what is best for their specific store in their area, for their customers. It’s a very localized decision," Bohl said.

Meanwhile, USA Today shared a statement from Walmart spokesperson Joe Pennington. He said, “Our managers look for ways to innovate within their stores and pay close attention to customer feedback on where they can better meet their needs. Based on several factors including customer and associate feedback, shopping patterns, and business needs, some locations are temporarily testing different checkout staffing options.”

Reddit users interpreted this as meaning that the change is taking place primarily in stores with high theft rates. Fast Company seemingly confirmed this idea with the news that Target has made a similar move, cutting back on self-checkout at certain times at some locations. Though Target has not officially confirmed this, employees told the publication that Target was trying to combat “shrink,” another technical term for inventory loss.

Is your local Walmart cutting out self-checkout? Only time will tell. It may be time to consider a subscription, or get used to waiting in line for an employee to ring you up. But since there is no company-wide mandate, not all of us will be affected.

As Bohl told Today.com, “I want to point out that this is not a new operating process. I feel like it stems from Reddit and social posts, and that's why it's bubbling up right now, but it's not a new thing." In other words, don’t panic, your Walmart is unlikely to make any sudden changes.

Read the original article on All Recipes.