LOS ANGELES – Self-checkout machines were once invented to make shopping easier, but consumers actually find them easier to steal.
According to a recent survey from LendingTree, 15% of consumers say they have stolen items using self-checkouts. Another 44% say they would do it again.
69% of all shoppers say self-checkouts make theft easier. Younger shoppers are also more likely to participate in thefts.
31% of Gen Z shoppers and 21% of Millennials have picked up an item without scanning it.
Typically, stolen goods do not have a high price. Overall, the reported value of these stolen goods averages around $60.
Does stealing make you angry?
Well, nearly half of self-checkout users say they’ve seen other shoppers use them to steal and haven’t done anything about it.
“While self-checkout is convenient, it certainly poses a shoplifting risk,” says Matt Schulz, lead credit analyst at LendingTree. “Ultimately, retailers have to decide whether self-checkout terminals are worth taking the risk. Sure, they can help the store save money because fewer people are needed to check out customers. The question, however, is whether such savings outweigh the potential increase in theft. This is an issue that many retailers are likely dealing with.”
Meanwhile, hHuman cashiers could make a comeback, as some major retailers may reconsider self-checkouts.
The use of self-checkout stations increased in the early 2000s as companies hoped the machines would help reduce costs. But some experts now believe that, among other things, people are using self-checkout machines to steal.
“What they didn’t take into consideration is that this could potentially impact their bottom line,” explained Matt Kelley of LiveView Technologies.
For example, Kelley said a thief could simply walk up to a self-checkout station and fool the security cameras by hiding a low-priced item, such as a package of Kool-Aid, under a higher-priced item, such as a steak .
“To the layman, it looks like they scanned the steak, the $30 steak, and they’re only scanning a $0.99 pack of Kool-Aid,” Kelley said, adding that negative customer experiences can be a problem with oneself. -even the speakers.
Walmart has already pulled self-checkout lanes from stores in some locations, though a spokesperson said, “There are currently no plans to remove self-checkout nationwide.”
The National Retail Federation also weighed in, with a spokesperson saying they are aware of retailers removing self-checkouts abroad, but in the U.S. “they have seen no compelling evidence that this is an industry-wide trend.”
As for Wednesday night shoppers in Vienna, some said they would be fine if self-checkouts became a thing of the past. But others like Marissa Flores told FOX 5, “I would miss it. I only use the self-checkouts.”
FOX 5 contributed to this story.