Some big boxes are walking away from self-checkout

Customer discontent and the risk of theft are driving some large-scale retailers away from self-checkout, CBC News reports. Dwayne Ouelette got rid of the machines at North Bay, Ont.’s Canadian Tire after taking over last year. “I’d rather my customers see my cashiers and if there’s any questions or concerns, at least there’s somebody they can talk to,” said Ouelette. His counterpart in Mississauga, Ont., recently followed suit.

Retail analyst David Ian Gray, a speaker at the latest Hardlines Conference, told the CBC that self-checkout “was heralded as a really great technology play to help improve the customer experience” when it was introduced, “but the truth is, there’s a lot of friction,” including technical glitches. From a loss prevention standpoint, he adds, “at the self-checkout area, you don’t have the eyes on you like you would with the cashier.”