Walmart is piloting a self-serve checkout-only program at multiple locations across Canada and the US.
Jonathan Rumley, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, says the initiative is designed to make Walmart a better retailer.
“Our business is transforming and we’re relentlessly focused on making our stores simpler and faster for our customers. That’s why we’re constantly innovating and trying new initiatives so we can be the very best retailer. One of the new initiatives we will be testing later this summer in a handful of stores – including in Terrace – is offering 100 per cent self-checkout by removing the traditional “belted” checkout lanes. Our customers have embraced self-checkouts as they’ve rolled out across the country over the past few years. We’ve also been enhancing the self-checkout lanes by having larger kiosk areas so customers have more space to organize and lay out their purchases."
The result of the pilot will determine if more cashierless stores will be rolled out and expanded to other locations.
Walmart says the self-checkouts will not impact jobs as the areas will be staffed and more people will be hired as it prepares to launch online grocery purchasing.
“Over the years we’ve heard concerns that self-checkouts will impact jobs but that’s simply not the case. The self-checkout area will be staffed by dedicated associates to help our customers and there will be no job loss as a result of this change,” adds Rumley. “In fact, our Terrace store is hiring for more than 40 jobs including roles in omnichannel, as we’re launching online grocery at this store in the coming months. Interested people can apply online here. We’re looking forward to launching the test later this summer in Terrace and certainly welcome any feedback from customers.”