Apr 122012
 

Self-checkout stand

Many grocery stores these days have adopted self-checkout stands to help speed up and enhance customers’ shopping experiences. Self-checkout stands certainly benefit the customers, but perhaps more than the company would like them to. A new wave of self-checkout theft has been taking place and could possibly be happening right front of you. Have you ever used the self-checkout and thought to yourself how easy you could trick the system? Well if you haven’t, someone else has and is now taking those thoughts into a reality.

The customers are taking self-checkout stands to a whole new level where tricks such as the “pass around” and the “weight abuse” are being used to steal grocery items. The “pass around” is where the customer takes the item around the scanner without actually scanning the item and places it on the conveyor belt. The other method is called the “weight abuse” where the customer for instance tricks the scanner by placing an expensive heavy item while using a price code for a much cheaper item in place of the costlier produce. In New Jersey five men were actually arrested for using such tricks in multiple grocery thefts but pleaded not guilty. However, a couple months later prosecutors find that the same men using the methods mentioned earlier to steal $10,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot.

Grocery store security camera

The beginning release of self-checkout stands really excited customers and still continues to satisfy their shopping needs while turning an average grocery day into the ultimate grocery shopping experience. Grocery companies aim to give their customers what they want and need, but once they start taking advantage of such conveniences such as stealing at self-checkout stands are where they draw the line. Some security experts say that theft these days are five times more likely to be at self-checkout stands. In addition, recorded last year a typical American family must spend an additional $435 just because of the increase of shoplifting. Now grocery stores such as Albertsons are completely taking out self-checkouts to further prevent theft inside their stores while others are deciding to take another route. The other grocery stores are deciding to keep their self-checkout stands but are placing security cameras like the ones used at airports that are able to detect terrorists to try and catch these grocery thieves.

Self-checkouts are a great alternative option other than paying at a standard checkout lane. Self-checkouts can be fast and efficient, but some customers have taken that opportunity to steal grocery items instead. So the next time you’re at the grocery store using the self-checkout, keep an eye out because the person right next to you could possibly be stealing right from under your nose. Don’t let these thieves get away because in the end we suffer the consequences from their actions with increased grocery prices in order to compensate for their wrong doings.

Self-checkouts lean towards a trust-based system, but now the need for extra security is in order to stop grocery theft all together. For further information, take a look at this video on self-checkout theft: Supermarket Crime Wave in Self-Checkout Lanes. Also, if you’re interested in knowing more about self-checkout stands and its new technology in general, check out my recent blog on, The Future of Faster Grocery Checkout Stands.

What are your thoughts about self-checkout stands, are they more beneficial or are they causing more harm than good? I would love to hear your comments. Thank you again for reading!

Luke Henry is the Marketing Director at IT Retail, a grocery POS solution provider out of Riverside CA. He is an inbound marketing specialist and manages IT Retail's; Social Media, SEO, PR, PPC, and weekly podcasts. He is an advocate of using non traditional marketing channels to generate business. He enjoys helping others with their inbound marketing efforts and can be reached at lukehenry@itretail.com.
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