Walmart is testing a store design that takes the self-checkout experience to a new level.
The discount giant is officially confirming mid-June media reports that it opened a pilot supercenter format in Fayetteville, Ark. that replaces traditional, in-person checkout lanes with self-checkout kiosks. Instead of arranging POS terminals in lanes, the store has a front-end layout in which 34 registers line the edges of a wide-open area.
Each register is equipped with a green light that alerts employees and customers to available checkout bays. All the registers are open. When customers walk into the register area, an employee behind a clear barrier greets them. All the cashiers in the store have been transitioned to a new role called “host.” If a customer wants to check themselves out, a host will show them to an open register. If a customer wants to be checked out by an associate, a host rings them up and bags all of their items just like they would have in the old lane-driven layout.
In the new layout, all 34 registers are always open, making it easier to adapt to changing traffic patterns and maintain a safe social distance within the open area, because there is more room to maneuver. Other benefits include reducing the 40 hours spent training a traditional cashier to less than eight hours training a self-checkout host.
In a corporate blog post announcing the new self-checkout format, Carl Morris, manager of the Fayetteville pilot store, said the new self-checkout experience is more welcoming to customers… Chain Store Age