Self-checkout in retail stores was introduced as a way to reduce the cost of having to have a clerk. Retailers are finding that self-checkout has costs of its own and provides the customer with a less pleasant experience too.
But now, retailers are rethinking self-checkout. They have found that self-checkout leads to higher merchandise losses from customer errors and intentional shoplifting — known as “shrink” — than human cashiers ringing up customers.
Shrink has been a growing problem for retailers, who have blamed shoplifting for the increase and called for tougher penalties. But retailers’ self-checkout strategies have also contributed to their shrink problems.