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1 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Oct 30, 2012 4:16:29am

I understand. One of my pet peeves is having someone direct me to the self-serve lines in any retail setting. I have done cashiering work. I have rung up almost everything from textbooks at a college bookstore to fine jewelry in a department store. It is a job that a lot of executives think can be replaced by self-serve kiosks or registers. The problem is as simple as the task may appear it is not. Cashiers in a college bookstore have information not only about the books they are ringing up but also what is going on in and around the campus. Salespeople in a department store know what is on sale as well as where to get a cheap but good meal and depending on where the store is they also might know some good sites to visit. When I worked in John Wanamaker in Center City Philadelphia I directed quite a few people to some good places to visit like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute. Do it yourself cashiering maybe cheaper but it is not a substitute for human interaction and good information.

2 Alouenghazi  Tue, Oct 30, 2012 6:17:56am

This is the reason IKEA is the STORE OF EVIL.

3 SanFranciscoZionist  Tue, Oct 30, 2012 8:15:39am

If customers ring up and bag their own groceries, the store is not paying someone to do that work. This, I suspect, is the source of the recent fascination with automated self-service.

For this reason, I will patiently wait for an actual checker.

4 ckkatz  Tue, Oct 30, 2012 1:19:15pm

Heh... I find the whole self service thing a very strange world view.

Reportedly, the number of errors, failures, and theft in self service lines is much higher. The store also gives up its last chance to positively interact with the customer and correct problems that the customer might have.

The executives clearly have concluded that a higher number of unhappy customers, failed transactions, and additional lossage is cheaper than doing anything about them.

I do wonder whether anyone has studied the financial consequences of mistakes at the self service checkout and who they generally benefit, the customer or the store. Or do I really need to wonder...

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