What do you call a self-checkout area that is staffed with cashiers? Isn’t that just a regular, full-service checkout, then?
That’s the question posed by TikToker @miraclehandzbackup who recorded herself shopping at a Walmart location and noticed that the self-checkout area was staffed by several employees of the chain with wireless scanners punching in items for shoppers.
In the short video, the influencer shows a close-up shot of a Walmart associate scanning items in her cart, along with a wide-angle view of three separate employees of the chain standing in the self-checkout area assisting customers with their purchases.
@miraclehandzbackup Like what is the point of Self checkout if i cant scan one take one 😂😂😂 jk #fyp #Miraclehandz #wilmingtondelaware #wilmington #miraclehandzgrowthoil ♬ Water – Tyla
@miraclehandzbackup narrates her video, stating: “So I don’t know if y’all Walmart started this, but apparently, self-checkout now has cashiers. Yeah, bye.”
She quipped in a caption for the video, “Like what is the point of Self checkout if i cant scan one take one.” The TikToker added that she was joking about how the new cashier staffing initiative at self-checkout curbed her ability to shoplift.
Viewers who saw her clip commented that they thought the move was a bizarre one for Walmart to play, highlighting how they often find actual cash registers are infrequently staffed by associates.
“They do literally everything but put cashiers at the actual registers…,” one commenter wrote.
Another echoed this sentiment, asking, “Why don’t they just put the cashiers at the register?”
Someone else on the platform said that this kind of payment structure completely defeats the purpose of calling the self-checkout area a “self” checkout area. “That doesn’t make sense like that defeats the purpose of ‘self’ checkout,” they argued.
Others complained that they wouldn’t be able to activate any of their self-imposed discounts at the self-scanning area.
“They wanted us to be our own cashiers but not get the discount,” one user wrote.
One TikToker said that they just use Walmart’s personal shopping service, due to the store being so hands-on with processing their transactions. “That’s why I do pick up. Go ahead and just have them shop for me too,” they shared.
It does appear that the chain has been focusing more on its personal shopping, online ordering, and mobile pick-up services with its Walmart+ subscription. The plan offers a litany of perks for frequent Walmart shoppers, including a free monthly subscription to Paramount+.
Cashiers at self-checkout, however, could have more to do with Walmart’s attempts at minimizing the purported $3-$5 billion it loses annually due to theft. There are several social media posts discussing how the chain is attempting to curb folks from stealing goodies while at self-checkout, including the breadth of surveillance tech being implemented in its stores to thwart thieves.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart and @miraclehandzbackup via email for further information.