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Old 07-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #61
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Meanwhile, some grocery stores are getting rid of some of their self-service registers: Self-checkouts on decline nationally (video) - news-herald.com
I go out of my way not to use those whenever possible. I'd prefer to choose an option that keeps more people employed. Of course, at some point it wouldn't surprise me if a retailer announced (say) a 2% discount for self-checkout to try to encourage consumers to allow them to slash jobs.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #62
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The same could be said of the loom and the cotton gin. Technology changes where the jobs are. Someone has to design the machine, install it, maintain it, etc.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #63
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at some point it wouldn't surprise me if a retailer announced (say) a 2% discount for self-checkout to try to encourage consumers to allow them to slash jobs.
I keep hoping there is will be a time when self-checkout brings savings to the consumer! If there is no discount for self-checkout, why would I want to bag my own groceries? And self checkout still requires a cashier to oversee the lanes and help get things unstuck from the computer.

The response that self-checkout keeps prices low is a poor one. I have always felt that bagging my own groceries deserves a reduction in prices for my effort. Somehow that hasn't happened yet, so I stand in the regular lines where someone else will bag the goods!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #64
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The same could be said of the loom and the cotton gin. Technology changes where the jobs are. Someone has to design the machine, install it, maintain it, etc.
Agreed. The problem is that "creative destruction" just doesn't work as well in the age of technology and globalization.

Displaced buggy whip makers used to be able to go to work for Henry Ford. Displaced manufacturing jobs of the 1970s were replaced by electronics assembly in the 1980s. But now the jobs are replaced by machines and/or software, and the the obsolete jobs that *are* being replaced with other humans often (a) require *fewer* of them than the jobs that were lost, or (b) are being created in China, India and elsewhere.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #65
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It is sort of interesting that a board full of introverts would prefer face to face interactions with retail folks .
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:24 PM   #66
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It is sort of interesting that a board full of introverts would prefer face to face interactions with retail folks .
Frankly, it's not that I prefer it. I am a technogeek. But I'm also a technogeek who fears the impact that overreliance on technology seems to be having on the average household trying to earn a living.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #67
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Now they plan to eliminate check out counters and clerks.

JCPenney to get rid of check-out counters and clerks

JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson Wants To Eliminate Traditional Checkout - Business Insider

In other words, it will be like shopping at Walmart except for all those helpful Walmart employees.
Helpful employees or unique customers? Funny Pictures at WalMart Photos
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #68
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I much prefer the self-checkout. We used them right away.

We usually buy fewer items than most customers per visit, so the self-checkout lines usually mean we get out much faster.

We'd prefer to interact with a machine than a human stranger.

We've been bagging our own groceries for the past 15+ years. 15 years ago, except for Whole Foods, the regular checkout person/bagger had no clue what to do when you brought your own bags to the store nor how to pack them. My husband started bagging and usually does it now even when going through a regular line.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:33 PM   #69
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The same could be said of the loom and the cotton gin. Technology changes where the jobs are. Someone has to design the machine, install it, maintain it, etc.
Not the same people who are doing check-out at Walmart.

Ha
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:48 PM   #70
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Last one to lose their job, please turn out the lights. Seriously, how the hell can an economy sustain itself when an ever-growing number of people are thrown out of work by this stuff?
I wonder the same thing. Efficiency isn't good for everyone.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:54 PM   #71
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I keep hoping there is will be a time when self-checkout brings savings to the consumer! If there is no discount for self-checkout, why would I want to bag my own groceries? And self checkout still requires a cashier to oversee the lanes and help get things unstuck from the computer.

The response that self-checkout keeps prices low is a poor one. I have always felt that bagging my own groceries deserves a reduction in prices for my effort. Somehow that hasn't happened yet, so I stand in the regular lines where someone else will bag the goods!

I do not think it was supposed to bring savings to the customer... the amount saved has to be small. I think it brings convenience that I like...

At my local grocery, they have 4 self checkout lanes where two full service ones would be located... with one person there... if we are only getting a few items, we can get through in a few minutes... if we went to a line with a person, at least 5 and maybe 10 minutes... even the low item line has a number of people waiting in line.... and if it is closed... you are behind someone who is trying out for the coupon show on how much they can buy and not pay anything....


Nope, count me in as someone who likes the self checkout lanes....
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:14 PM   #72
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This is definitely part of the continuous effort by business to keep prices down and margins high. It would be positive for us if the displaced workers were returning to the labor force and engaging in equal or higher value activity. When they join the U-6 unemployed, the long term cost is high and there may be no benefit.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #73
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I don't have a JCP, but I think the campaign failed because people like to feel like they got a deal and the ad campaign gave the impression that they would never have sales - just everyday, low prices. That would cross them off my list.
JCP just sold their concept wrong. They now have 3 tiered pricing. Their regular price is 35% - 50% lower than what their regular price used to be so in reality you are getting a sale price even at their new regular price. Then they have their monthly mark downs - these are 10% - 25% lower again. and then they finally have their new category - Best Price (Best Value), which is their final mark down - it is 50% off again or more - now you are paying 70% - 80% off of what used to be their regular price.

The whole concept is great - it was just a terrible marketing campaign... They are kind of the WalMart (no offense) of the middle class chain stores... I still shop their regularly and hope this does not hurt them.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #74
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I never use the self-checkouts. They rarely work properly and can be incredibly exasperating. More importantly, they take away cashier jobs. I'd rather pay a few more pennies for peanut butter and keep someone employed.

I have tried to dissuade the young wife from doing so as well, but she never listens.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #75
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I like the self-checkouts and use them if the software and hardware works well and if I only have a few things. I usually get out of the store faster that way.

To exacerbate matters, if it's convenient I even bring in a cart from the parking lot when I come into the store. I'm just a job killer I guess.

I was very happy when HD fixed their self checkout. The old scanners absolutely would not read the very tiny UPCs (on copper pipe, etc). After a few tries the checkstand gal informed me the self-help scanners wouldn't work on those. Very nice.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #76
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For those who prefer a human cashier, hypothetically, how much more would you be willing to pay for that service? 2%, 5%, 10% or more?

A Fresh and Easy (I think owned by Tesco) opened up by our house and all they have is self check out. They are definitely cheaper than the regular chains (e.g., safeway, etc.) but maybe a tadd more than TJs.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:41 PM   #77
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Umm... Talk about job creation, should we forget about e-filing our 1099, and moreover, not print out our paper return but to fill in every line item by hand, so that the IRS cannot scan in our return and has to hire human readers to decipher our chicken scratching?

Anyway, back on the OP's post, in retailing is it not "fair" for the sellers to sell stuff for the highest price they can, and for the buyers to try to get the stuff for the lowest price, or think that they have? Anything else is doomed to fail, as long as there is no outrageous deceptive representation of the merchandise, of course. JCP should just stick with what works.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:21 PM   #78
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I use the self-checkout if I am not buying too many items (2 bags of items or less) and there are lines for the (wo)manned lanes. At night this happens more often because sometimes there are only 2 open lanes. I will also prefer the self-checkout lanes if I have no coupons or bottle-return receipts.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:45 AM   #79
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The local WM installed four self-checkouts several years ago and promptly shut them down (said people were stealing). The last few weeks all four were up and running. The clerk said they received a dictum from Corporate to station one clerk at the self-checkouts at all times and keep them open.

As for JCP and Sears - I used to like going there when it was easy to navigate the stores in order to find things because I don't shop - I buy (there is a difference). I absolutely hate roaming around in a maze trying to figure out where things are and not having anyone to ask. I want to go in, get what I want, and get out. And there must be some unwritten rule to constantly reorganize merchandise in a quest to keep people in the store longer.

Somewhere around 20 years ago HEB did a major remodel on one of their San Antonio stores. When the store re-opened for business, customers were given a floor layout so they could easily find what they wanted AND dozens of friendly clerks were stationed all over the store wearing "Ask Me" vests. Besides being a major public relations win, it was the best thing the store could have done in order to prevent log-jams of frustrated people.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:40 AM   #80
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So who still uses travel agents?
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