Self checkout in convenience stores

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storewanderer
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Self checkout in convenience stores

Post by storewanderer »

Last weekend I stopped twice in the same day at a Pilot Truck Stop site with 3 self checkouts inside their c-store. They also have regular registers, staffed, and the self checkouts are kind of down on the end, never watched, and probably never cleaned. The credit card readers on the self checkout do not accept Chip cards- swipe only. They are running standard NCR Self Checkout Software. The two visits were about 8 hours apart once morning once night.

This is a very busy site. With gas at 2.29, there are numerous vehicles filling up at this location and the store is very busy (about 75% of which have CA plates, even though the site is 45 miles into NV). People in the know, fill up at this spot.

I went to the same self checkout during both transactions. According to the receipt, there were 2 other transactions on this self checkout between the ones I did, during that 8 hour time period. I suppose it is possible the other self checkouts had more transactions but grocery store self checkouts see upwards of 200-300 transactions a day in a busy store so I am really surprised how few people are using self checkout in this c-store.

Wow - if this place is any indication, self checkout is a huge flop in this format. This must explain why we have seen so few self checkouts in convenience stores.

Super S
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Re: Self checkout in convenience stores

Post by Super S »

Self checkout works in large stores. Especially in cases where regular checkstands are busy with large purchases, you can go through a self-checkout quickly for small items and be on your way. Large stores also are usually staffed well enough where an attendant is overseeing the self checkouts if a problem arises.

In a convenience store, nobody really is buying large quantities, and as a result, lines usually move quickly unless there is only one employee on duty. It is not likely that somebody is monitoring self checkouts. And convenience stores by nature tend to have more alcohol/tobacco purchases which require ID, as well as gasoline purchases, so that is another strike against self checkout.

Then you have the issue of certain self checkout systems malfunctioning regularly. While there are some well-designed systems out there (most Kroger systems seem to fall in to this category) there are some not so well-designed that regularly flag attendants for various reasons (WinCo's self-checkouts fall in to this category)

I just don't see the point of this in most convenience stores.

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