June 13, 2011
Reprint, Supermarket News
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC here said Thursday it plans to eliminate self-checkout systems from all stores by the end of August so it can focus more on customer service.
We feel like having regular checkstands or express lanes where a person can actually have a conversation with a checker is a better approach,” Christine Wilcox, the company’s director of communications, explained.
The 217-store chain began removing some unmanned checkstands last year as it remodeled stores, and it plans to complete the process from the 100 stores that had self-checkout by the end of next month, Wilcox told SN.
The space formerly devoted to self-checkouts is being filled with regular checkstands or express lanes. “There isn’t a standard configuration that we’re replacing them with — it depends on the store and what that store needs,” she said.
Wilcox estimated that only a small number of customers were using the self-checkouts, “and re-setting the stores as we’re doing is more feasible for us and for customers,” she said. So far the response has been “mostly positive,” she added, “with most people telling us they prefer having someone check them out.”