Self-checkouts can help shoppers leave the store faster, but they pose a real theft problem for stores like Walmart.
Chief cashier James told The Guardian he was “like a shark with blood in the water” when he monitors his Washington state store for theft.
With the influx of self-checkout systems, Walmart employees are now responsible for preventing theft in addition to running the registers.
The self-checkout lines have proven to be aggravating theft, as Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC, “Theft is a problem. It’s higher than in the past.”
Walmart’s partnership with Irish AI company Eversen should fix the problem by warning employees about theft. However, many employees argue that this does more harm than good.
An anonymous group of employees told Wired in 2020 that Eversen had failed to stop legitimate self-checkout shoplifting.
Employees like James are responsible for stepping in when a suspicion of theft arises, which can lead to angry customers.
James admitted he often deals with frustrated customers, which “drains your mental battery”.
To combat the common theft problem, Walmart has begun arresting customers suspected of theft.
A warrant officer in Florida managed to steal $500 worth of items just last month.
John Reed found himself behind bars in the Polk County Jail after being charged with eight counts of petty theft, one count of property acquisition by fraud, one count of gross fraud and one count of petty theft ranging from $100 to $750 had been.
Customers use tricks like “the switcheroo” and “the pass around” to change price tags to get through the self-checkout.
Despite the problems that self-checkouts bring, many are still a vital part of Walmart stores, and employees have had to shoulder the extra responsibility.
For more Walmart content, check out our story on how a woman was banned from the store for forgetting to scan an item.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7194306/walmart-employee-self-checkout-theft-shark-water/ I work at the Walmart self-checkout — I’m like a “shark with blood in the water” when it comes to theft monitoring