Scan and go at Walmart

Walmart Canada is adding more self-checkout kiosks and revamping its "scan and go" system where shoppers scan their items while they shop.

Walmart Canada made news last year when it announced the launch of scan and go service in 20 locations. Customers use portable scanners to scan items as they buy them; they can then pay at a cashier, opt for self-checkout or use a mobile app to pay their bill.

But CBC News reports that the company has reduced scan and go service to only three locations in Canada, while Walmart in the US has dropped it altogether.

Walmart Canada didn’t say why they had scaled back, but did say they are testing technology improvements, including new features and a new interface.

Meanwhile the company continues to add self-checkout kiosks to stores, although it also says it will always try to maintain a cashier presence as well.

Analysts quoted in the CBC report said that retailers are continuing to experiment with automation in order to see what customers want. One option is a ‘hybrid’ scan and go option for customers who still want some human contact. In this scenario store employees scan items for the customer and then check them out. Walmart and Target have begun to offer this option south of the border.

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