First being tried at Fayetteville, AR. A Walmart with all automated checkout.
Interesting to note, according to this article, Store Manager Carl Morris, says the new layout seems to be having a positive effect on the employees and their customer service. Now out from behind a cash register, they are less focused on speed and more focused on each customers’ needs.
“We will go to any register, and we will help you in any fashion you want, whether it’s checking out one item or all the items. Any questions you have, we’re right there for you,” Morris said.
Interesting. Employees freed from being as tethered to the machine. The customer is more tethered instead?
I've noticed, at automated checkouts, that one employee now has responsibility for several checkout lanes. In some ways, they are even busier and their focus is scattered across more lanes. Not necessarily a more human, less production line experience.
As for the customer, each store has a different type of automated kiosk. Customers, including myself, are pretty clumsy and stumbling so checkout is slower. Clerks are more expert at checkout than the customers, themselves. Also, since automated checkout is not standardized across various retail outlets, customers stumble through the learning curve for each store.
Still, I think this is a wave of the future. I hear that eventually, the market basket will tally items as the customer puts items in the basket. Maybe an easier experience.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang talked about basic income as things, like artificial intelligence, take away lots of routine work. Are there more interesting things that people can do?
Are there other goals in life besides speed and efficiency? People often choose the shortest, quickest line for checkout. I often use other criteria, like how attractive is the clerk. Some of the clerks, I know, so there might be other reasons for conversation; like; Tim's working today, I'll go through his line.
Some people boycott Walmart, but my main reason for not shopping there is the automobile sprawl around Walmart. Me, being a bicyclist and pedestrian; I usually just avoid the whole part of town that Walmart is in.