Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

mbz321
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by mbz321 »

rwsandiego wrote: July 11th, 2021, 11:32 am
  • The mobile version of the membership card does not always scan. That's Costco's problem and they need to solve it
This is actually one thing that I haven't found to be an issue. If you tilt your phone up to scan the QR code from the 'vertical' scanner instead of the flat platform scanner (hopefully you can picture what I am talking about) , it scans fine, and most members have surprisingly figured it out on their own. The only usual time it doesn't scan is when someone 'shares' their QR code with someone that isn't a member (the QR code in the app routinely changes so you can't screenshot it)., and it won't work but will flag for assistance. Now if they would turn on the damn scanners at the gas pumps for the mobile cards....but that is an entire other rant :P

And the lack of membership enforcement still baffles me as to why Costco thinks these machines are a good idea. Why become a member (which generates most of Costco's income) when I can just borrow someones card and hop on through the self checkout without any checks in place?
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by storewanderer »

mbz321 wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:16 pm

And the lack of membership enforcement still baffles me as to why Costco thinks these machines are a good idea. Why become a member (which generates most of Costco's income) when I can just borrow someones card and hop on through the self checkout without any checks in place?
I thought about this at Sam's Club too. But Sam's Club is a lot more loose about membership enforcement than Costco who has historically been very strict about it (again I understand given the membership fees profit structure).

That is an easy fix, just position a 4th person at the opening of the self checkout to check the membership card before the transaction even starts. Boot any customer out who is trying to use someone else's card. It will come to the point between this, the attendant initials on the receipt, etc. it is harder to use a self checkout and the self checkout is more labor intensive than the regular checkout.

Costco is an efficiency expert with a working front end formula. I think self checkouts were a bad decision. They shouldn't fix what isn't broken. Those long Costco lines move so fast, a line of 5 carts at Costco moves faster than a line of 1-2 customers at most retailers.
Last edited by storewanderer on July 11th, 2021, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by mbz321 »

storewanderer wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:53 pm
mbz321 wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:16 pm

And the lack of membership enforcement still baffles me as to why Costco thinks these machines are a good idea. Why become a member (which generates most of Costco's income) when I can just borrow someones card and hop on through the self checkout without any checks in place?
I thought about this at Sam's Club too. But Sam's Club is a lot more loose about membership enforcement than Costco who has historically been very strict about it (again I understand given the membership fees profit structure).

That is an easy fix, just position a 4th person at the opening of the self checkout to check the membership card before the transaction even starts. Boot any customer out who is trying to use someone else's card.
That seems like a good solution as well. But you start adding in all this extra staff...it just makes Self-Checkout look even more and more pointless :P. (And I say that as someone that uses SCO's at almost every opportunity....but this is simply not the right environment for them).
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by rwsandiego »

mbz321 wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:57 pm
storewanderer wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:53 pm
mbz321 wrote: July 11th, 2021, 6:16 pm

And the lack of membership enforcement still baffles me as to why Costco thinks these machines are a good idea. Why become a member (which generates most of Costco's income) when I can just borrow someones card and hop on through the self checkout without any checks in place?
I thought about this at Sam's Club too. But Sam's Club is a lot more loose about membership enforcement than Costco who has historically been very strict about it (again I understand given the membership fees profit structure).

That is an easy fix, just position a 4th person at the opening of the self checkout to check the membership card before the transaction even starts. Boot any customer out who is trying to use someone else's card.
...but this is simply not the right environment for them...
You hit the nail on the head - Costco is not the right environment for self checkout.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by storewanderer »

rwsandiego wrote: July 11th, 2021, 11:50 pm
You hit the nail on the head - Costco is not the right environment for self checkout.
It works at Sam's Club... the majority of transactions at Sam's are going through self checkout, at least when I am there.

At least in Reno, the transactions at Sam's tend to be MUCH smaller than the transactions at Costco.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by veteran+ »

rwsandiego wrote: July 11th, 2021, 11:32 am I wouldn't avoid Costco based on its self-checkout implementation. At my local store (Arcadia Crossing [44th St and Thomas] in Phoenix), the SCO attendant has a handheld scanner and comes running when a customer appears to be in need of assistance. In my focus group of one, the following issues have arisen:
  • Many people who use self-checkout don't know how to use it. The same issue occurs at Safeway, Fry's, Sprouts, and Whole Foods.
  • Customers don't use common sense. If you are buying pallets of items or a very large item, don't use the self-checkout. Again, this occurs at other stores.
  • The mobile version of the membership card does not always scan. That's Costco's problem and they need to solve it
I can't speak for areas other than Phoenix (current home) and San Diego (former home), but long Costco checkout lines are nothing new. For the twenty one years I've been a member the lines have always been long. That's to be expected at a high-volume store.

As an aside, when I was a little kid in the 1970's supermarkets had long lines. The local Jewel had at least twelve checkstands, all would be open on Saturday, and there were always lines. Dominick's and the myriad independents had the same. National and A&P always had short lines, but that was because they had few customers. Wouldn't you know it they eventually pulled out of the market.
Some excellent points!

I gotta tell ya that in my experiences with self check out at just about any store is that TOO often the self checkouts actually take longer! Go figure.......

I often look at the regular lanes (including fast lanes of course) moving faster than the self checkouts, exactly because of what you stated. They don't know how to use them, they take their time, slowly bag their stuff, have too many items, dawdle around paying and looking at their receipt and putting away their wallets and purses and the list is endless.

LOL

Side note as well...............................I managed a Publix in Florida that had 33 lanes and there were most often long lines!
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by Alpha8472 »

The self checkout at the Costco in San Leandro, California has been closed. The shoplifting in the area is also out of control. Apparently customers were robbing the store blind. You checkout a few items and then neglect to ring up the rest. This location had people packed like sardines. Trying to catch dishonest people is impossible. They run away like a mass looting.

Self checkout cannot be done at this store. It is out of control.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: July 17th, 2021, 6:30 pm The self checkout at the Costco in San Leandro, California has been closed. The shoplifting in the area is also out of control. Apparently customers were robbing the store blind. You checkout a few items and then neglect to ring up the rest. This location had people packed like sardines. Trying to catch dishonest people is impossible. They run away like a mass looting.

Self checkout cannot be done at this store. It is out of control.
The application of self checkout seems to be a real challenge for Costco.

It will be interesting to see if the corporate backs up the store by removing the equipment or what.

There was a Wal Mart on Florin Road in Sacramento (this store has since been relocated) about 15 years ago- which for some reason Wal Mart put its home-made software self checkouts into (not the NCRs they currently use). At the time this was easily the worst neighborhood Wal Mart was operating in, in Sacramento. They had so much trouble there, they converted them to staffed registers.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by babs »

Alpha8472 wrote: July 17th, 2021, 6:30 pm The self checkout at the Costco in San Leandro, California has been closed. The shoplifting in the area is also out of control. Apparently customers were robbing the store blind. You checkout a few items and then neglect to ring up the rest. This location had people packed like sardines. Trying to catch dishonest people is impossible. They run away like a mass looting.

Self checkout cannot be done at this store. It is out of control.
Why would this be any different at other retailers with self checkout? I remember seeing someone intentionally not scan everything at Fred Meyer, told the clerk and he shrugged shoulders and told me unless they see them take items off the shelf, they couldn't do anything. With attitudes like that, this isn't a Costco issue, it's an issue for all of retail.
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Re: Costco installing self-checkouts at more locations

Post by storewanderer »

babs wrote: July 18th, 2021, 6:28 pm Why would this be any different at other retailers with self checkout? I remember seeing someone intentionally not scan everything at Fred Meyer, told the clerk and he shrugged shoulders and told me unless they see them take items off the shelf, they couldn't do anything. With attitudes like that, this isn't a Costco issue, it's an issue for all of retail.
It isn't. Other retailers either accept the theft or use loss prevention technology to track and flag the theft. Costco with its approach (having an attendant initial a receipt while someone else at another self checkout isn't scanning items then conveniently leaves the self checkout area while the attendant is handling some other customer's large item, for example) having the receipt check at the door should counter the issue quite well, better than other retailers would counter this issue of not scanning all items.

Yet Costco's solution in this San Leandro Store is to close the self checkouts- whether this is going to be for good or maybe they were short staffed receipt checkers or something else remains to be seen but it overall just shows that this self checkout program is not running smoothly at Costco and not running efficiently. This is not like how Costco typically operates. Costco does not waste money deploying unnecessary resources and idle equipment/space in its stores.
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