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Walmart Reins in Self-Checkout: Leading To Customer Dissatisfaction

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Clear Facts

  • Several retail stores are decreasing the use of self-checkout kiosks or imposing new restrictions, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Walmart has introduced a new rule, reserving specific self-checkout lanes for Spark delivery drivers and Walmart+ members, which has been met with backlash from shoppers and Walmart employees.
  • The decision to limit certain self-checkout lanes is not a nationwide directive, but a store-based decision, as per Walmart spokesperson Joe Pennington. Walmart denied allegations of trying to encourage more people to join Walmart+ by restricting self-checkout lanes.

The retail landscape is experiencing a shift in the utilization of self-checkout machines. Some retailers, such as Dollar General and Kroger, are moving away from self-service kiosks, while others like Target are implementing new restrictions on these machines.

However, these changes have not been well received by all shoppers. A recent self-checkout policy implemented by Walmart is currently facing significant criticism from its customers.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Walmart stores started reserving certain self-checkout lanes for Spark delivery drivers and Walmart+ members, a move that triggered a wave of dissatisfaction among the shoppers. Spark delivery drivers are contract workers responsible for shopping for and delivering products to customers, while Walmart+ is the retailer’s subscription service.

“At my store we have 10 self-checkouts and six are dedicated for Spark drivers/Walmart+ members—four for Spark and two for plus,”

Noted one individual on an online forum. They further expressed their frustration regarding the inconvenience caused,

“It’s difficult when you’re trying to get a snack on your break and there’s a crowd of people and only four self checkouts available.”

The restriction on self-checkout lanes has resulted in longer waiting times to pay, causing further frustration among shoppers.

“Only Walmart would have an entire section of self-checkout closed and leave only six open to use,”

commented one unhappy customer.

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“Long lines for no reason. I dislike shopping here.”

For many, this new self-checkout policy has been the final straw, prompting them to stop shopping at Walmart altogether.

“At the Walmart by my house they closed down all of the self checkout lanes, and turned them into lanes for their Spark delivery service,”

shared one user.

“Now everyone has to wait in 20+ minute checker lanes while those self checkout lanes sit empty. My solution, I stopped going there.”

However, Walmart spokesperson Joe Pennington clarified that this decision to limit certain self-checkout lanes is not a company-wide directive, but rather a decision made by individual store managers.

“Based on several factors including customer and associate feedback, shopping patterns, and business needs, some locations are temporarily testing different checkout staffing options,”

Pennington explained.

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The company also refuted claims that this new rule was an attempt to persuade more people to sign up for Walmart+.

“From time to time, our stores adjust the use of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts. This process isn’t new,”

Walmart stated.

“During these times of limited access, some stores are designating select self-checkout stations for Walmart+ customers using our Scan and Go service and Spark drivers for quicker access and delivery services. This decision is intended to better manage checkout availability.”

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. wayne Gauthier

    July 8, 2024 at 6:54 am

    I stopped shopping at Walmart years ago prior to self checkout. The wait to checkout was always long, never enough checkouts open, unfriendly employees.

  2. Buff

    July 8, 2024 at 7:22 am

    How bout actually paying a cashier for a personal and prompt shopping experience. What a novel idea. Self checkout is BS.

    • FRANK ALEXANDER

      July 9, 2024 at 3:43 pm

      You said it. Our local Publix stores have gone the same route. When I don’t get a discount on my groceries for doing the employees’ work for them, and I’m not on the payroll…well, that’s a sneaky way for the stores to save money at the front end. What really cheeses me off are the few front-end employees left, trying to urge me to use the self-checkout lanes as if it’s some sort of privilege.

      Starting to like going to Winn-Dixie!

  3. dan

    July 8, 2024 at 7:38 am

    Only go to wally-world between 7:00 and 10:00 am only, you won’t have any problems !!

  4. John

    July 8, 2024 at 7:48 am

    Yes,yes so some have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart because of the Self Check-out. Well so be it,of you have any education at all you will understand that millions were being stolen day after day. Sorry Wal-mart is a retail store,not a bread line for anyone who wants to think,they owe me or found it incredibly easy to steal. The days of credible shoppers is over and of you don’t think it affects the customer that actually pay’s for Wal-mart product’s your WRONG! Wal-Mart had to tag 3% on all products to cover shoplifting. I wrote Wal-Mart at the beginning of this fiasco and got NO response telling them what was going to happen. So after many stores have closed because of massive shoplifting and to stay out of wrongful law suit’s,it was the only thing to do. So cry of Wal-Mart took away your “sucker”‘it’s probable you cried when they stopped selling guns also.

  5. Jmh

    July 8, 2024 at 8:17 am

    Why does Walmart pay employees to stand around and use their phones? What ever happened to “customer service ?”
    I worked 17 years in sales and enjoyed it. Now a days people want the money and do as little as possible. Grow up people the world doesn’t own you anything.

  6. Daniel Quigley

    July 8, 2024 at 8:56 am

    I used to do roughly 90% of my shopping at Wal-Mart. Then they installed those sickening self-checkouts and now I only go to 1 Wal-Mart because that’s where my bank is. I go to my bank,do my banking and immediately leave. I try not to use a self checkout if I can help it because I’m not being paid or compensated for doing a Employee’s job. So until I get 15 dollars off my purchase because after all I deserve 1 hours pay for the hassle of scaning,bagging and then having everything checked by a Employee who should be at a cash register. If they can have 6 Employee’s wandering around the self checkout area then they can have roughly 18 registers open with those Employee’s actually doing something for their paycheck. Whoever invented the self checkout needs to be hot tarred and featherd. The other thing I don’t like is not being allowed to use the Employee Lounge because they say I’m not a Employee. I figure if I’m doing someone’s job I Damn Sure Am a Employee. So either start giving us a 15 to 22 dollar discount or open up every single cash register and get rid of those Damn self checkouts

  7. Sagebrush

    July 8, 2024 at 8:59 am

    I’m partially deaf and tinnitus is what’s creating the issue. There are times I can hear somewhat but not all of the time. when it’s really bad, I like to use the self checkout line simply because where I shop the clerks are really friendly and talk a lot and expect you to answer and I have no idea what they said. The rest of the time I want a clerk I can talk to if necessary like if I need stamps or something. Those self checkout stands do nothing but take away jobs which is exactly what they were designed to do. I have really cut down on Walmart & any other store when shopping because of those. For my reason, I don’t have a problem if a store has 1 self checkout stand. I’m not the only one who has made this statement.

  8. the traveller

    July 8, 2024 at 10:33 am

    I was in a regular check out line at WM when an associate came over to me and said “Why don’t you use self checkout?” I answered, “I’m not going to NOT get paid for something WM pays YOU for. Self checkout takes jobs away from people.” She walked away.

  9. Don Bond

    July 8, 2024 at 10:38 am

    I don’t work for Walmart. They should have enough people working the cashier’s to check people out. If I have to check myself out,then Walmart should pay me for checking myself out.Walmart never has enough people there to check people out.

  10. Diaz

    July 8, 2024 at 5:22 pm

    I go where I am welcomed, and where I am well-treated. My money goes with me.

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