A Walmart customer has recounted out their experience utilizing the retailer’s new self-checkout machine. Righteous Ray, the customer, disclosed the new features aimed at reducing thefts, but admitted not being a big fan of the technology. Shoplifting is a major issue for outlets such as Walmart, and instances of theft related to self-checkout have increased in recent years.
In a TikTok video, Ray showed that customers in Dallas, Texas must individually scan their groceries using handheld devices in Walmart store. The scanning device is not integrated into the machine like in a conventional self-checkout, and after scanning, the item and its price are displayed on a large screen before being placed in the bagging area.
Walmart’s user experience with the new self-checkout machines
Ray stated that the large screen displays an image of the scanned item and warned potential shoplifters that the machine can detect if item tags are swapped. She also mentioned that there is a secondary, smaller screen that tracks the items scanned. Despite this, she expressed her lack of enthusiasm for the recently introduced technology at the store.
The customer informed the viewers that she would prefer to stick with the older kiosks. She expressed her discomfort with having to hold the scanner the entire time, suggesting that robots should be employed for scanning and bagging goods. Despite this, she acknowledged that it wouldn’t entirely eliminate theft from Walmart stores. Ray was also displeased that customers cannot pay for their purchases with Apple Pay and are limited to paying with either a card or cash.
More experiences with the use of autopay and response from Walmart
In Memphis, Tennessee, last month, a man reportedly brandished a gun at a Walmart employee after they spotted that he had not scanned all of his groceries. According to Memphis police, the man in his 20s and his mother were intercepted by a loss prevention officer as they attempted to leave the store. The employee reported that the man became agitated and went to his car to retrieve a gun before coming back into the store.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned that the rate of shoplifting is at an all-time high and if not addressed, prices may increase or stores may close. The 2022 National Retail Security Survey estimated that retailers lost around $100 billion due to “shrinkage”. In response, companies like Walmart have taken measures to curb shoplifting, such as putting some items in locked cabinets or behind plexiglass. However, this has generated complaints from customers who say it makes shopping “impossible.”
Products are also guarded by spider wrap in various shapes and sizes. Retailers like Lowe’s have taken a more subtle approach to curb shoplifting.