This article could read when Eric Stephens goes grocery shopping... I can't stand self-checkout. There are several problems with it. My favorite is getting stuck behind some person that isn't smart enough to USE the self checkout lane. I'm pretty sure most checkers are cut from the same cloth.
I know some kids at my local grocery store that check. They are not typical checkers. They are just taking advantage of the pay structure of their workplace and getting themselves promoted to the higher paying jobs. They won't be checkers their entire lives.
But those, and you know which ones I'm talking about, that are checkers, and that's all they will be or want to be. Of my top two reasons not to shop at Wal-Mart the first of which being nearly everything in the store is produced in China, the second is the check out. You can't get out of the damn place. I've stood in line for 25 minutes holding two items at a Wal-Mart. I won't even comment about shopping at a Wal-Mart on the 1st or 15th of the month you can only imagine what I'd write about that.
If they wanted to improve the check out at stores make the checker's pay based on the ITEMS PER HOUR SCANNED. Yeah, I bet they would have you out of there in a freakin' heartbeat if it paid better. In any event, if you are too stupid to check yourself out, don't go through those lanes. I would say at 1 in 4 times I use the self checkout the machine malfunctions. Like a recent visit to Lowe's when I scanned the second of my three items the machine just froze...locked completely up. And since there isn't a keyboard or any way to interact with the register except the touch screen when that's gone you.are.done.
So it seems the retailers are seeing the bigger picture and are deciding that the shrinkage (people stealing) that occurs at the self check and the customer complaints aren't worth the effort. They are going to rely on the second thing stores today are crappy at, customer service from the register staff. Good luck with that. When you have to train a person to say nice things and engage the customer at the register YOU ARE DOOMED as a society.