Big Y Foods, a grocery chain in the northeast United States, has announced they will eliminate all self-checkout lanes in their stores by the end of the year at its 58 supermarkets that offer the technology. Big Y first introduced self-checkout lanes in 2003.
After extensive research, Big Y concluded that the self-checkouts not only didn’t save their customers time, but also usually took them even longer to check out than customers in standard checkout lanes. Big Y decided such technology couldn’t improve on or replace a Cashier able to provide personal assistance to each customer in her lane. Big Y found that self-checkout lines get bogged down as the customers are forced to wait for staff to help with bar codes, coupons, payment problems and other issues that arise with many transactions.
Big Y follows major U.S. grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons in removing self-checkouts from stores because of service problems.
“Our self-checkout technology could not deliver on the service needs of our customers,” explained Michael A. Tami, VP for information resources and technologies at Big Y, which operates a total of 61 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more than 10,000 employees. “While other chains are opting to replace Cashiers with more self-checkouts, we are adding Cashiers to service more standard lanes.”