While some may like self-checkout machines in stores, I loathe them.

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I understand the concept, but I don't think that they do anything to speed up the checkout process. I feel like they cause a traffic jam of grocery carts and when there's an issue, waiting for an employee to come to the rescue can take quite a bit of time because so many people need help.

Self-checkout machines have become a common sight in grocery stores however, recent developments suggest that not all retailers are convinced of their benefits. One grocery chain in England, Booths, has made the bold decision to remove self-checkouts from the majority of its stores, citing a better customer experience through human interaction and everything inside of me is screaming “YES!

The Booths chain store removing self-checkouts has caused a lot of water cooler chatter and questions about whether New York will one day follow suit.

According to reports, the decision to remove self-checkouts from Booths was driven by customer feedback and the perception that these machines can be slow, unreliable, and impersonal. The managing director of Booths said that the company is prioritizing human interaction over artificial intelligence for a better overall experience.

In New York, the debate surrounding self-checkouts has not reached the same level of intensity as seen in the UK. However, self-checkouts have come and gone in various American grocery stores over the years, indicating mixed feelings among retailers and consumers.

Interestingly, in Rhode Island, there was an attempt to regulate self-checkout systems through legislation. State Representative Megan Cotter spearheaded an initiative to limit and regulate the number of self-checkouts allowed in grocery stores. The proposed bill aimed to ensure that there is an equivalent number of staffed checkout lanes to maintain fair employment practices and accommodate customers who are unable or prefer not to use self-checkouts. While this legislation did not pass, it reflects concerns shared by some regarding the potential negative impact of self-checkouts on workers and certain customers.

With the grocery industry continually evolving, it is difficult to predict the future of self-checkouts in New York. Factors such as customer preferences, technological advancements, and economic considerations will likely influence the trajectory of self-checkouts in the state.

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