Theft Is Up To Five Times Higher In Self-Checkout Lanes

Photo: Flickr / Escondido Public Library

Self-scanning checkout lanes are becoming ubiquitous, but not every retailer wants to embrace them, reports USA Today’s Jayne O’Donnell. The reason: Theft is up to five times higher with self-checkout lanes compared to when a cashier is working, Malay Kundu, founder of Stoplift Checkout Vision Systems, told the paper.  

“People scanning their Starbucks as bananas, leaving their items in the cart or reusable bag instead of scanning them and overloading the bagging area so that the un-scanned merchandise can be piled on without being sensed” are common examples, Kundu said.

Self-checkouts are problematic for shoppers as well. No customer representative to help you find what you want is frustrating, and can lead shoppers to take their business elsewhere. As New Yorker’s James Surowiecki points out, that’s exactly what happened to Home Depot, whose business tanked once they eliminated the number of workers on their floor. 

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