After a long season in which numerous thefts have occurred at the Walmart retail chain’s self-checkout counters, the retail brand’s CEO has issued stern warnings. As indicated in a statement, the number of shoplifting has increased significantly. That problem can trigger the closure of certain stores or even price increases on many products, see the new anti-theft measure.
If there is one thing Walmart is known for, it is for offering its customers a wide selection of products at the best prices. However, the succession of robberies in the stores spread throughout the United States, making the chain’s situation more and more in danger. To solve this serious problem, they have upgraded the self-checkout machines with a technology that aims to eliminate one of the most common theft practices used to date, known as the banana trick.
The revolutionary solution that crushes the notorious Walmart shoplifting trick
The infamous banana trick fraud, committed by hundreds of fraudsters in Walmart stores, is based on scanning an expensive product with the label of another one with a much lower price on the self-checkout machine. In this way, they avoid being discovered so readily since, in theory, they are making a purchase like any other customer. However, they are committing fraud by acquiring high-value products at exceptionally low prices.
To overcome this problem, which has been increasing over the years, Walmart has proposed improvements to its self-checkout machines. The most important is AI technology, which Edgify has produced. This new system gives the device the function it needs to see what product is being scanned by the customer and whether it matches the label on it.
In social networks, we can see that there are already several customers who have gone to their trusted Walmart store to test whether this update in the system is effective or not. To the surprise of many, the self-checkout machine can identify the product and compare it with the label it carries to determine whether if it is the same product to prevent shoplifting.
In this way, improving the self-payment machine system is precisely the solution needed to completely stop the thefts that have been a severe situation for Walmart for months. The change in the labels has resulted in a loss of money for the supermarket chain, a situation that cannot continue. If the issue does not improve, Walmart executives will take drastic measures that will affect customers.
What is the impact of the banana trick on Walmart’s profits?
The banana trick, also known as the switcheroo trick, has cost stores like Walmart over $850,000 in lost revenue.. This trick involves ringing up an expensive item but using a code for a cheaper item, such as a banana. Other variations include “the pass around,” where an item leaves the conveyor belt without being scanned, and “the switcheroo,” where the sticker of an inexpensive item is placed over the barcode of a more expensive item the-sun.com.
To address the banana trick, Walmart has implemented measures such as providing handheld scanners to employees to help detect instances of theft at the register. Walmart has also changed its labeling system, which is expected to reduce theft at self-checkouts.
However, it’s important to note that the banana trick has led to false accusations and legal consequences for some customers. For example, an Alabama woman was awarded $2.1 million in damages after being falsely arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart.
How artificial intelligence can prevent self-checkout theft
The method most commonly used by thieves in self-pay may have seen its last day’s thanks to AI-powered machines that can recognize items without a code for prevent shoplifting.
The so-called “banana trick” is a technique used to steal in self-pay that involves charging an expensive item like shrimp, which sells for more than $20, at the price of an inexpensive item like a banana, which averages around $0.49 per pound.
A company focused on retail-based AI technology, SeeChange Technologies, and Diebold Nixdorf, create “AI-powered self-checkout (SCO) solutions” with Fresh Produce Recognition, the companies announced in a press release on January 16.
How do thieves steal in these new supermarkets, same Walmart Banana trick?
There have even appeared a series of terms and tricks for stealing in supermarkets that move in forums, such as the “banana trick,” which consists of passing steaks as if they were potatoes.
Another fashionable misdeed among self-collecting thieves is “the switcheroo,” which consists of swiping a barcode of something cheap to charge you for something expensive.
New York shoplifting hit record levels last year: ‘We can’t stop them’
The most common shoplifting charge in New York is Petit Larceny, PL 155.25, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail when the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000, a person can be charged with a felony as grand larceny, which is punishable by imprisonment in state prison.
The Big Apple has become a thieves’ paradise: reported retail thefts hit record levels for the second year in a row in 2022, a Post analysis of police data shows so the problem isn’t just Walmart’s problem
The statistics show that the number of shoplifting complaints rose to more than 63,000 last year, a 45% increase over the roughly 45,000 reported in 2021 and a nearly 275% increase compared with the mid-2000s.
Self-checkout have increased shoplifting, instead of dissuade it
In a clear reflection of the current financial constraints, supermarkets are demonstrating a noticeable trend of restricting the quantity of high-value items displayed on their shelves at any given time. This strategic measure aims to curb the escalating wave of shoplifting incidents, which has become a growing concern. Such a proactive approach by retailers underscores the significance of addressing the issue of theft in a prudent and efficient manner.
According to Marshoek, a financial retail firm from the Netherlands, fresh products such as fruits and vegetables, and even bread, have become some of the most stolen products in supermarkets. The explanation for this is that these groceries are the ones that have increased in price the most in recent years since the pandemic.
The report also highlighted the increasing presence of self-checkout systems in supermarkets as a contributing factor that appears to promote theft. Despite the upward trend in theft incidents, the advantages of self-scanning have thus far surpassed this drawback. Nevertheless, the current notable surge in theft is beginning to have a significant impact.
Finally, a really major problem: many times, the police do not have the legal tools to arrest the perpetrators because the price of the stolen products does not represent a crime. Faced with this, store employees are forced to confront the thieves before they leave the building, and are exposed to situations of potential violence and risk to them.
What other shoplifting techniques are common in self-checkout?
- The Banana Trick: Customers scan a low-priced item while placing a more expensive item on the scale or in their bags. This takes advantage of the machine’s lack of knowledge about the actual items being scanned.
- Fake Barcodes: Customers cover the barcodes of expensive items with those of cheaper items, making the system think they are scanning the correct item.
- Simultaneous Scanning: Piling similar and hard-to-notice items, like greeting cards, and only scanning one. The customer then leaves the store with unpaid items.
- Selecting Incorrect Items: Customers choose a cheaper item from a list on the screen before weighing fresh produce grubbrr.com.
“Forgetting” Items: Customers pretend to forget to scan larger products placed at the bottom of their carts, as there are no employees to monitor them.
- Using Reusable Shopping Bags: Sneaking items into opaque reusable shopping bags before reaching the checkout, making it difficult for employees to see the contents.
- The Cut and Run: Customers pay for the majority of their items, exclude top-dollar items, and use the complicated technology to create doubt about their intentions. They then “accidentally” forget to scan some items and leave the store.