Self-checkout and Shrink

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TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

At Lowes, good luck finding an open register even when the self checkout is closed. You usually end up having to check out at the service desk. And with Wal Mart, there's an interesting contrast with the two local stores nearest to me. They both have self checkout but with a big difference. The older of the two (which was a conventional store before being expanded) has something like 20+ registers. They have TWO self checkout areas located on each side of the registers and more or less opposite each of the two entrances. The other store (a new build supercenter which replaced a conventional store) has only one self checkout area and yet they have about the same number of conventional registers as the other store and it also has two entrances. I've never understood that because they could've easily included a second area when the store was being designed and built. The funny thing is the store with two is located in an area where shrink would likely be a larger problem than in the other store.
storewanderer
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by storewanderer »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:44 am At Lowes, good luck finding an open register even when the self checkout is closed. You usually end up having to check out at the service desk. And with Wal Mart, there's an interesting contrast with the two local stores nearest to me. They both have self checkout but with a big difference. The older of the two (which was a conventional store before being expanded) has something like 20+ registers. They have TWO self checkout areas located on each side of the registers and more or less opposite each of the two entrances. The other store (a new build supercenter which replaced a conventional store) has only one self checkout area and yet they have about the same number of conventional registers as the other store and it also has two entrances. I've never understood that because they could've easily included a second area when the store was being designed and built. The funny thing is the store with two is located in an area where shrink would likely be a larger problem than in the other store.
In my area there is one Lowe's (former Eagle) that has 4 self checkouts, only one of them accepts cash, and often I have gone into that store at say 6 PM and the only way to pay is via the self checkout at the front end. I had words with the then-store manager years ago who was incredibly rude and dismissive about this and was blown off. This store being a former Eagle has an "indoor drive through lumber yard" so the "pro checkout" in this store is not up front but rather in the back corner of the store then it exits into the back of the drive through indoor lumber yard which has a few parking spaces in there, as opposed to a typical store with an exit for pro checkout out into the parking lot. So that checkout is open at all times, but unless you are buying from the drive through lumber yard, it makes zero sense to walk all the way back there and use that checkout.

The second Lowes is built by Lowes more recently. It is a typical design store. Lumber yard is walk in only, not drive through. This store only has 2 self checkouts, neither accept cash (so that right there makes it so those can't be the only open terminals) and they seem to usually be open but it also always has one regular register and one "pro" register open.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by cjd »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:44 am At Lowes, good luck finding an open register even when the self checkout is closed. You usually end up having to check out at the service desk. And with Wal Mart, there's an interesting contrast with the two local stores nearest to me. They both have self checkout but with a big difference. The older of the two (which was a conventional store before being expanded) has something like 20+ registers. They have TWO self checkout areas located on each side of the registers and more or less opposite each of the two entrances. The other store (a new build supercenter which replaced a conventional store) has only one self checkout area and yet they have about the same number of conventional registers as the other store and it also has two entrances. I've never understood that because they could've easily included a second area when the store was being designed and built. The funny thing is the store with two is located in an area where shrink would likely be a larger problem than in the other store.
That sounds exactly like the situation here. Older 1993ish Walmart that expanded to a supercenter in the late 90s has about 20 regular lanes, with SC corrals on each end which correspond to the grocery and the household entrances. Although I think a few of the regular lanes were removed a while ago to make a pickup area that has couches. Possibly that was a former book alcove though between the registers.

The other Walmart in my county was built as a Supercenter complete with auto center around 2007/08. I think it only has one set of self checkouts and there are actually only about two rows of three in a line pattern, where the other store has both sets arranged in a circular pattern, I think there are 8 in each set in that store.

On second thought the newer store probably does actually have two another set of self checkouts on the grocery end, but I don't go there often and never use that entrance so I can't say for sure.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by babs »

storewanderer wrote: February 14th, 2021, 12:30 pm
TW-Upstate NY wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:44 am At Lowes, good luck finding an open register even when the self checkout is closed. You usually end up having to check out at the service desk. And with Wal Mart, there's an interesting contrast with the two local stores nearest to me. They both have self checkout but with a big difference. The older of the two (which was a conventional store before being expanded) has something like 20+ registers. They have TWO self checkout areas located on each side of the registers and more or less opposite each of the two entrances. The other store (a new build supercenter which replaced a conventional store) has only one self checkout area and yet they have about the same number of conventional registers as the other store and it also has two entrances. I've never understood that because they could've easily included a second area when the store was being designed and built. The funny thing is the store with two is located in an area where shrink would likely be a larger problem than in the other store.
In my area there is one Lowe's (former Eagle) that has 4 self checkouts, only one of them accepts cash, and often I have gone into that store at say 6 PM and the only way to pay is via the self checkout at the front end. I had words with the then-store manager years ago who was incredibly rude and dismissive about this and was blown off. This store being a former Eagle has an "indoor drive through lumber yard" so the "pro checkout" in this store is not up front but rather in the back corner of the store then it exits into the back of the drive through indoor lumber yard which has a few parking spaces in there, as opposed to a typical store with an exit for pro checkout out into the parking lot. So that checkout is open at all times, but unless you are buying from the drive through lumber yard, it makes zero sense to walk all the way back there and use that checkout.

The second Lowes is built by Lowes more recently. It is a typical design store. Lumber yard is walk in only, not drive through. This store only has 2 self checkouts, neither accept cash (so that right there makes it so those can't be the only open terminals) and they seem to usually be open but it also always has one regular register and one "pro" register open.
The Lowe's near me might be the worse example in the chain. Four self checkout stations. All of them are taped up in different areas to hold them together. One has a taped together scan gun. One has the cash dispenser taped over, another one had the credit card machine taped over with an out of order sign. Lowes isn't a poorly run chain but this location has some management issues.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by BillyGr »

Jeff wrote: February 11th, 2021, 7:17 pm I think one day everything will eventually be locked in a vending machine style where you need to pay as you grab the item. Would make sense you think for smaller stores, but larger would be awful to do this.
Maybe some type of card (or something on a phone if people prefer that)? Basically you scan that card/screen to unlock each item, then scan it at a machine at the exit and it charges you for the whole purchase at once (or you can put in money if preferred)?

That still allows the benefit of not being able to take an item without scanning it (since the card/screen scan unlocks the item to be taken) without needing to pay one item at a time.

Might even work for a new food service model... OK, an old model revamped (the Automat, just not needing exact change for each item ;).
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by mbz321 »

storewanderer wrote: February 12th, 2021, 4:03 pm
Romr123 wrote: February 12th, 2021, 12:56 pm I've tried self-checkout at Costco and it's just not very satisfactory. I'm not a heavy Costco shopper (rarely more than 10 items) and when compared to the hyper-efficiency of their regular checkout, I'm not sold. BJs, conversely actually has a good self-checkout which is good for my size orders and remarkably efficient.
BJ's and Costco are both using the same Toshiba Self Checkout Software and the same POS system. What is the difference between the implementation at the two chains?

The SCO's at BJ's have scan guns, and most are still the long conveyor belt roller? types, making it more efficient for larger orders.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by mbz321 »

cjd wrote: February 14th, 2021, 7:13 am
Lowes' SC is a joke, just two stations, and usually they aren't even open (I think sometimes just one might be).
Almost no Lowe's locations in my area have SCO's for whatever reason (definitely not high crime areas either). I have shopped in a location that does have them and they seem to work just fine.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by storewanderer »

babs wrote: February 14th, 2021, 4:51 pm The Lowe's near me might be the worse example in the chain. Four self checkout stations. All of them are taped up in different areas to hold them together. One has a taped together scan gun. One has the cash dispenser taped over, another one had the credit card machine taped over with an out of order sign. Lowes isn't a poorly run chain but this location has some management issues.
You are positive you aren't in Reno right? Sounds so familiar... also I do think Lowes is a poorly run chain. That is based primarily on my experiences with the Reno Lowes. I'll just go ahead and forget my visit to the Sparks Lowes last week where multiple employees ,including the cashier while assisting me at the register, was not wearing a mask. I can get standing there with no mask when the customer isn't there but if the customer comes up and the customer is wearing a mask (per State mandate) maybe put one on at least during the interaction? Oh wait... I guess I didn't forget. Poorly run chain. Yes.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by cjd »

The Lowes self checkout appears to be open more regularly now. On the last two trips I've been able to use it. Last night when I went there was only one regular lane open and nobody at the self checkout. The line was quite long and a guy was telling them they needed to open another line. Another customer indicated that the self checkout was open so I went ahead and used that. The clerk that appeared to be overseeing that area asked me if I was a veteran for some reason. Not sure if they are getting a discount or what.

Lowes' self checkout is not really as efficient as Home Depot, there are only two stations vs Home Depots' four. It seems Home Depot checks a lot more customers through its self checkout area and lately seems to have always two employees overseeing that area.
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Re: Self-checkout and Shrink

Post by Brian Lutz »

I was at the Lowe's in Everett yesterday, and saw that they finally added self checkouts to the store some time recently when they redid their front end. Given the fact that up until this recent refresh the front end had what appeared to be very old and tired leftovers from the Eagle store that Lowe's acquired, this is a pretty big improvement.
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