Walmart Self Checkout Second Wind Thanks to Retail Theft

By | April 30, 2024

Self Checkout Trends for Walmart and Target

From RetailSystems

From article at MRCTV May 2024

walmart self-checkoutSummary of the key points:

  • Rising Retail Theft: Major retailers like Walmart and Target are closing self-checkout terminals due to a spike in shoplifting, leading to a loss called “shrink” which surged nearly $20 billion in a year
  • Self-Checkout Evolution: The self-checkout (SCO) technology is evolving with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to combat theft, using cameras and sensors to detect unscanned items.
  • Adapting Business Models: Retailers are adjusting their SCO-to-cashier ratio and introducing measures like attended SCOs and receipt-scanning gates to prevent shoplifting.
  • Future of SCOs: Despite challenges, the SCO technology is poised for a comeback with new AI-powered systems expected to be deployed by the end of 2024

Main issues and developments regarding self-checkout systems in retail as discussed on the page.


Target, for example, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a new system that uses cameras and sensors to detect items that shoppers fail to scan. It will create audio and visual alerts and identify shoppers who ignore notifications and repeatedly fail to scan their items after being prompted, Daily Mail reports. Target is hoping to deploy the new AI-powered SCO technology in all stores by the end of 2024.

The SCO business model is also adapting to prevent shoplifting:

The one of the biggest problems is that retailers been too zealous, often overweighting their checkout mix of SCOs and cashiers, industry analysts say. While a good rule of thumb is to have ratio of one SCO for every one cashier, some retailers are currently using a ratio of four or more SCOs per human cashier.

Thus, as retailers continue to gain experience with self-checkout, they’re adjusting their store’s ratio to find a mix that both improves the customer’s shopping experience and also protects the retailer’s bottom line.

More Checkout links


Author: Staff Writer

Craig Keefner is the editor and author for Kiosk Association and kiosk industry. With over 30 years in the industry and experience in large and small kiosk solutions, Craig is widely considered to be an expert in the field. Major kiosk projects for him include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others.