The negative reaction to self-checkout is growing, leading stores to reduce their use of the technology. British supermarket chain Booths is removing self-checkout stations from most of its stores, and other retailers like Walmart and Costco in the US have also adjusted their self-checkout strategies. Customers have complained about the slow and unreliable nature of self-checkout machines, as well as their impersonal nature. Booths customers often made mistakes when identifying fruits, vegetables, and alcohol purchases at self-checkout. The company believes that having employees check out shoppers provides a better customer experience. Self-checkout machines were initially introduced in the 1980s to cut labor costs, but retailers are now reconsidering their use due to higher merchandise losses and shrinkage caused by customer errors and shoplifting. Some products have barcodes that don't scan properly, while others require manual entry. Customers have also taken advantage of the lack of oversight at self-checkout aisles to steal items. Stores have tried to improve security features but face challenges with frustrating errors and the need for employee intervention. Retailers like Walmart, ShopRite, Wegmans, and Costco have either removed or adjusted self-checkout machines due to customer complaints or increased shrinkage. Costco attributes its increase in shrinkage to the rollout of self-checkout. Five Below plans to increase staffed cash registers in new locations after observing higher shrinkage at stores with more self-checkout lanes.
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