Grocery Self-Checkout: Blessing Or Scourge?

Our sister publication ShopSmart asked their readers today what they think of grocery store self-checkout systems. Would you rather stand and watch someone else scan and bag your groceries, or do you prefer to buy your Oreos and hemorrhoid cream without another soul knowing?

Anthony Giorgianni over at Consumer Reports Money ranted,

I predict stores soon will eliminate cashiers altogether, and we’ll have row after row of miffed shoppers in constant battle with machines, mechanical versions of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, proclaiming, “No produce for you!”

I like that the human cashier knows exactly what to do if I have a receipt for bottle returns, if the credit card machine can’t read my card, or if I’m eligible for a discount because I brought my own canvas bag, as I like to do.

And what about the jobs lost to those machines? Cashier is one of those good, honest jobs, the kind of job on which so many depend. For teenagers, it’s often the job that introduces them to the responsibilities of joining the working world.
Now, instead of hiring real people, the stores are expecting me to do the work – and for no pay.

I started shopping regularly at a grocery store that has only its four self-checkout kiosks open starting around 9:00 PM. I thought I would hate this, but it’s growing on me. I can get in and out a lot faster when making one of my typical small late-night purchases.

Do you prefer self-checkout? Do you avoid it at all costs? Do you wish that stores would give you a tiny discount for using the system, as they do for customers who bring their own bags?

Grocery store self-checkout: Love it or hate it? [ShopSmart]
Supermarket self-checkout: No thanks, I already have a job [Consumer Reports Money]