There is no longer a self-service checkout at this Canadian Tire, a decision that disappoints some customers.
Junaid Chaudhry deplores the loss of self-service. It’s faster, he says. You don't need to wait in line with other customers.
Claudette McKay, on the contrary, believes that the queue moves rather quickly, and believes the removal of self-checkouts refocuses service around customers.
The Retail Council of Canada says theft in stores is on the rise, but does not specifically associate theft with self-service checkouts.
None of the stores asked about this in July by CBC responded directly to the question.
Retailers, however, were more likely to respond for a study funded by the retail industry published in 2022.
It says that 93 retailers around the world estimate that up to 23% of their losses are due to theft and errors at self-checkouts.
In addition, according to a recent online survey of 2,000 Americans, 15% admitted to stealing merchandise from a self-checkout counter, and 21% left a store with an item they did not 'had accidentally not scanned the barcode.
In North Bay, Brooke Shogren says she witnessed theft at self-service checkouts.
A reality confirmed by store manager, Derek Shogren, who specifies, however, that the main reason for the withdrawal of these boxes is the implementation of a new queue system.
At the Canadian Tire in North Bay, there is now only one queue leading to the checkouts.
He adds that Canadian Tire sells a lot of large merchandise, which doesn't really lend itself to self-service.
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Upon its adoption , self-checkout technology was seen as a way for retailers to reduce staff costs and speed up the purchasing process.
A new service that should in theory greatly improve the customer experience, explains retail consultant David Ian Gray, but self-checkouts have also become an irritant according to him.
Several people were unhappy when the first self-service checkouts arrived, having the impression that they were being asked to do the work of cashiers.
A quote from David Ian Gray, retail consultant
The consultant notes that in certain situations, for example if a customer makes an error, the intervention of an employee is necessary, thereby canceling the promise of a faster process.
Mr. Gray predicts that other stores will abandon self-checkouts.
David Ian Gray does not think, however, that self-checkouts will disappear.
Some stores go in the opposite direction from the Canadian Tire in North Bay.
Walmart, which removed self-checkouts in three of its stores in Albuquerque, New Mexico, launched a pilot project in 2021 in Sainte- Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, where there are no cashiers.
Walmart has not provided an explanation for this Quebec store without a cashier or reasoning for the comeback of cashiers in Albuquerque.
A spokesperson, Joe Pennington, responded by email. We always seek to provide the best experience for our customers.
With information from CBC's Sophia Harris, Félix Hallée-Théoret and Philippe de Montigny
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