TORONTO — CBC News reports on three Toronto Canadian Tire stores who have withdrawn their self-checkout machines, breaking with the trend toward automation in retail. One of the dealers, Tim Tallon, told CBC that his four self-checkout stations were aging and inefficient, leading to frequent breakdowns. Instead, he’s moved to a single lineup, Winners-style, with customers waiting for the next available cashier. “I just think it’s more efficient and we’re quite happy with it,” Tallon said. “I can’t see us going back to self-checkouts in the near future.”
YetMarion Chan, owner of TrendSpotter Consulting, says that the trend is still clear. “It is inevitable, like any technological change,” she said, while allowing that exceptions may occur due to customer demand. “It is a cost-savings — but if it’s really annoying people, then it’s probably not worth it.” Still, she predicts more and more retailers will go without human cashiers altogether.