The chain store, Albertsons, recently announced that it is doing away with self-checkout lanes in seven of its stores in the Tuscan, AZ area and more than 200 others throughout the Sun Belt states, according to Jill Torrance of the Arizona Daily Star. The Boise, ID based company says that the change is part of an effort to re-emphasize customer service and to create a more personal experience for consumers at the cash register.
Other reasons cited for the change include expensive maintenance costs of the machines, and possible better uses for the valuable space that self-checkout machines occupy.
Does this mean that there will be a return to the checkout lanes of yesteryear? Definitely not! Checkout technology is advancing. Tests are now being conducted by Kroger Company for an automated checkout lane that will scan groceries as they travel down a conveyor belt and tunnel, similar to what airports use to screen carry-on luggage. Also, mobile technology is predicted to be a “game changer” for the retail industry.
While many people appreciate the technological advances, the human factor still figures heavily in customer satisfaction in the retail industry.
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