Walmart And Target Explore Limits on Self-Checkouts: “How Can They Do That?”

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The once open-for-all self-checkout lanes at giants like Walmart and Target might be undergoing a transformation, with possible limits on who can use them.

Reports say that it is possible these self-checkout lanes will eventually become reserved for Walmart+ members and Spark delivery drivers.

Shoppers have recently been left bewildered after seeing some self-checkout lines closed at Walmart.

“This is the second time this week that I’ve gone to Walmart, and this is a different Walmart, and it’s been right about this time, and all their self-checkouts are closed and they’ve started to open up the regular lines again,” one TikTok was quoted saying.

One Walmart shopper posted a picture on Reddit that showed a sign that said: “Attention: This self-checkout is for Spark shoppers and Walmart Scan & Go only.”

Walmart shoppers have recently been left bewildered after seeing some self-checkout lines closed

Image credits: Walmart Corporate

“Oh, I wouldn’t shop there then. I don’t do anything but self-checkout at Walmart,” read a comment on the post.

“That is messed up. Some days you have to wait 45 minutes in line or even it feels like that,” another added.

Another wrote, “My store has this, we have 4 registers supposed to be for scan & go/spark drivers but the spark drivers go wherever they please, and other customers get soooo mad because they can’t use cash bc it has no cash box.”

Kelsey Bohl, who holds the position of senior manager for corporate communications at Walmart, confirmed that shoppers at select Walmart stores might observe modifications in the availability of self-checkout lanes.

“From time-to-time, our stores adjust the use of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts. For example, a store might start or end the day with staffed checkouts. As the number of shoppers and associate staffing increases, these stores open self-checkout registers to manage the increased customer flow. This process isn’t new,” Kelsey was quoted saying in a statement.

Kelsey Bohl said individual store managers would decide whether to close lanes or limit the number of hours they are available

Image credits: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group

Kelsey further elaborated that when there is a period of limited access, certain Walmart outlets may reserve specific self-checkout lanes exclusively for Walmart+ members and Spark drivers.

“This decision is intended to better manage checkout availability,” she added.

In a conversation with TODAY, Kelsey also noted that it is individual store managers who decide whether to close lanes or limit their availability to a certain number of hours based on their employees’ and customers’ needs.

“Store managers have the autonomy to make decisions about what is best for their specific store in their area, for their customers. It’s a very localized decision,” Kelsey explained to the outlet.

“Some stores, in some locations, may start the day off and they have associate staff cash registers open only, and as the day goes on, and associate staffing picks up, customer traffic picks up, they’ll open up self-checkout cash registers.”

Many customers were displeased by the news and shared their thoughts online

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