The self-checkout lane has become a point of contention since grocery and department stores began installing them at their locations. While they seemed to be all the rage initially, a new trend is emerging where some stores are reevaluating whether or not they're still serving the purpose they were intended to serve. That includes Target which may be bringing a change to self-checkout lanes at its Indiana locations depending on the data it gets from a small test it's running at a few select locations.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Checkout

I realize I may be in the minority here, but you can put me in the camp of people who prefer the self-checkout lanes. Sure, every once in a while an item won't scan or something else goes wrong which requires employee assistance, but for the most part, I don't have any issues. The pro to me is that I don't have to talk with anyone. Call me anti-social if you will, but I'm not looking to make small talk with a cashier while they're ringing up my items. Just scan them and let me get on with my day.

Young couple standing at the checkout counter in a supermarket
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"Why yes, we are making tacos for dinner tonight. How very observant of you. Now, please finish ringing up our items so we can leave. Thank you."

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On the flip side, those opposed to self-checkout lanes have a few different reasons for their disdain. Some will argue it's another way for the big corporate fat cats to cut costs and line their pockets with even more money by eliminating jobs, which in some cases may be true. However, in others, the employees who once worked the registers are now being used to gather orders for customers who order their items online for in-store pickup or delivery.

Another argument I've seen on social media is the idea that companies are essentially making customers temporarily employees, for lack of a better term, by having them scan the items they're purchasing and that if they expect us to do that job, they should pay us for it.

Beyond people's thoughts, another issue that is cropping up is wait times. Much like getting stuck behind someone at a normal checkout lane that has a cart full of items when you only have a few, a similar issue has been cropping up at self-checkouts. The difference is that the cashier at the normal checkout lane knows what they're doing and has been trained to try and scan those items as quickly as possible whereas an everyday customer like you or me will take longer because we'll struggle to find the bar codes, or we're just naturally slow.

Target to Test Self-Checkout Item Limits at Select Stores

Target Reports Large Q3 Earnings Miss As Customer Demand Becomes Uncertain
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CNN is reporting that Target is testing a 10-item limit at self-checkout lanes in a few select stores across the country to "shorten wait times and 'better understand' shoppers’ preferences," according to a spokesperson for the company.

While the spokesperson did not provide CNN with the specific locations where the test is taking place, one has to think that if it is successful and data shows the item limit does what it's intended to do, the company would roll the policy out to all its locations around the country.

Personally, I wouldn't be opposed to the limit being applied to some, but not all. That way, those of us who do have more items and prefer using self-checkout could continue to do so. What do you think? Would you like to see an item limit applied to the self-checkout lanes at Indiana Target locations? Or, any store that has self-checkout lanes in the Hoosier State for that matter? Let me know in the poll below.

[Source: CNN]

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