Self-checkout lines may help shoppers get out of stores faster, but they pose a real theft problem for stores like Walmart.
“It’s like a shark with blood in the water,” James, the cashier, told The Guardian while monitoring the theft at his Washington store.
With the influx of self-checkout systems, Walmart employees now have the responsibility of preventing theft in addition to running the cash register.
As Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC, self-checkout lines have proven to make theft worse. “It’s historically high,” he said.
Walmart’s partnership with Irish AI firm Eversen was meant to solve the problem by alerting employees to theft, but many workers argued it would do more harm than good. doing.
A group of anonymous employees told Wired in 2020 that Eversen failed to stop legal self-checkout shoplifting.
Employees like James are responsible for intervening in cases of suspected theft that could harm customers.
James admitted that he often deals with frustrated customers that “drain his mental batteries.”
To address the frequent theft problem, Walmart began arresting customers suspected of theft.
Last month, a Florida detention agent successfully stole $500 worth of items.
After being charged with eight counts of petty theft, one count of fraudulent acquisition of property, one count of serious fraud, and one count of petty larceny between $100 and $750, John Reed was imprisoned at Polk County Jail. it was done.
Customers use tricks like “switchers” and “pass-arounds” to change price tags so they can get through the self-checkout.
Despite the problems self-checkout posed, many were still an important part of Walmart stores, and employees had to take on additional responsibilities.
For more Walmart content, see how a woman was kicked out of a store for forgetting to scan one item.