90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

May I Help Myself? The Decline Of Self-Checkouts

Self checkouts, like this one at Costco, have met with mixed results, with several major chains. (Courtesy: Kirby Urner)

Self checkouts, like this one at Costco, have met with mixed results, with several major chains deciding to pull them out of stores. (Courtesy: Kirby Urner)

Self-service technology was supposed to speed up service and save retailers money by reducing the number of employees. But a recent study by the Arlington , Virginia-based Food Marketing Institute shows that in 2010, customers at self-checkout stores only used them about 16 percent of the time. That’s down from 22 percent three years ago.

Meanwhile, some major chains, including Big Y, with stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and Idaho-based Albertsons, have eliminated their self-checkout lanes.

Is this a reverse trend? Or are stores waiting to see what the next evolution of self-service technology will be?

Guest:

  • David Livingston, an independent supermarket consultant based in Milwaukee , Wisc.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

March 27 Comment

Using Poetry To Expose The Power Of Money, Class And Gender

Alissa Quart's first book of poetry is both personal and universal - inspired by work and research she has done as a journalist.

March 27 11 Comments

Yale Is Starting A VHS Archive And It’s Full Of Horror Movies

"Silent Night, Deadly Night," "Stripped to Kill" and "The Last Slumber Party" – all from the 80s – are a few of the titles.

March 26 3 Comments

Noah Baumbach On Middle Age And ‘While We’re Young’

In the writer-director's new film, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' characters befriend a younger, free-spirited couple.

March 26 Comment

How March Became Mad

The NCAA men's tournament started in 1939 but it was decades before it became the extravaganza it is today.