SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Massachusetts-based supermarket chain is doing away with its self-service checkout lanes, saying they haven’t been able to replace the friendly human cashier.

Big Y says the self-serve lanes will be phased out by the end of the year, and more standard service lanes added.

The chain opened self-serve lanes in 2003 as a way to speed up checkout and save money. But it found checkout times actually lengthened as customers grappled with bar codes, coupons and payment methods.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports

Big Y added that the lanes can’t replace the service provided by a human being.

Another chain, Boise, Idaho-based Albertson’s LLC, has said it’s phasing out self-service lanes. Kroger says it’s keeping the self-service option because customers like it, although one remodeled store replaced it with another quick-checkout method.

Big Y operates 61 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. emom says:

    Ok I personally LOVE self check outs, its fast , easy, and well a huge time saver.. The problems I see, is well yes the inexperienced,, HELLO IN THE BEGINNING WE WERE ALL THAT WAY, with some help from other shoppers, and or the employee’s we did far better on the next trips,,, However if you go to one and have to sit there for over a few minutes with out as much as a I WILL BE RIGHT THERE,, then you get very upset,,,,,,, What I find totally crazy and ridiculous is ,a person still using checks to pay for groceries, GET A DEBIT CARD, many of these lanes state cash or charge only, NO CHECKS, oh but what’s this a lady with a cart full of groceries, some not scanning right and she has tons of coupons and to top it all off she is using a check,, SO WHATS THE BIG PROBLEM YOU ASK… IT’S THE EXPRESS Isle, 12 items or less, CASH OR CREDIT ONLY, and well when you use these isle have your coupons ready not fumbling for that coupon for 50 cents of your laundry detergent. Be smart and courtesy of others that are behind you , stop saying sorry every few minutes, and don’t come back the next week and do the same thing. Oh that one burns me something fierce, seen a women do this every time she shops, shopping cart with at least 30 items in the 12 or less isle, paying by check in a cash & credit isle that is 12 or less and fumbling to find her coupons she should have out and ready.. These isle are great and work well, IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO and FOLLOW THE RULES>… Oh and as long as there is employee’s around to help for simple things like products not scanning that’s not our fault it happens,,, but put it aside and continue to scan the rest till that person comes over.

  2. Sarah Forbes says:

    People who do not understand HOW self-service works should stay OUT of that line. I’ve NEVER had a problem with self-service because I know how to THINK! I have, however, been stuck behind some extremely moronic folks; unfortunately, they are quite often women or seniors.

  3. RB says:

    They can’t replace the friendly human cashier? You mean the high school student who has a harder time finding the bar code than I do? Who spends more time chatting with hi/hers buddy working bagging and ignoring the customers? Or who always manages to use the wrong code on produce? (By pure coincidence, it’s always the one with the highest price, too)

    My only problem using self-checkout comes from a)stores shutting down half of those lanes when the store is at its busiest, b)people waiting until the store is crowded and even the express self-checkout has a long line before they decide to learn how to use it {w/ too many items, no less} and c)Stop & Shop’s self-scanners and their tendency to pick my device for a ‘random’ audit about every 2-3 weeks. Even store employees have been amazed at how often they see me getting selected. Once the employees recognize you because of the frequency of your audits, that’s troubling.

  4. bruinsfan says:

    I personally think that we should get rid of these machines all together. I know they can be the esay way out of a food store but i have wont use them. I rather my next door neighbor without a job be able to ring in groceries and make some money than some corporate suit being able to save a couple bucks. Just my opinion.

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