Major Retailer Reverses Policy on Self-Checkouts in 12,000 Stores – Report

Battered retailers are trying to stay one step ahead of the thieves who have made retail theft a hallmark of Joe Biden’s America.

The National Retail Federation has estimated that shrink — the trade buzzword for merchandise stolen somewhere along the line — was $112 billion in 2022.

To fight back, Dollar General is doing away with self-checkout lanes in more and more locations. The company has ended self-checkout at about 12,000 stores, with 3,000 alone in May, according to Fox News.

The company will keep eliminating self-checkout while no longer stocking items that often are stolen.

Theft “continues to be the most significant headwind,” CEO Todd Vasos told analysts in a recent earnings call.


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“We are deploying an end-to-end approach to shrink reduction across the organization, including efforts in our supply chain, merchandising, and within our stores.

“While this represents a significant change in our stores, we believe this is the right course of action to drive increased customer engagement while also better positioning us to begin reducing shrink in the back half of ’24, with a more material positive impact expected in 2025.”

In the first three months of 2024, gross profit as a percentage of sales dropped 30.2 percent at Dollar General due to shrink, Fox reported.

Vasos said consumers are fine with the elimination of self-checkout.

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“The vast majority of it from our consumers [is] because they like the interaction at the front of the store,” he said, according to the Sun. “And with that interaction then also comes having somebody at the front of the store very visible at all times, which as you recall was not always the case in 2023.”

Other retailers are employing different tactics.

TJX, the company that owns T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls, will give its loss-prevention employees and some others body cameras in an effort to deter thieves, according to USA Today.

The stores have been testing the approach in the past year at select stores.

Target has added something it calls ‘True Scan” in hopes of finding bar codes that aren’t scanned while a shopper is in a self-checkout lane.


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Theft often is organized, as in the Lego heists in California noted by KABC-TV.

Blanca Gudino, 39, of Lawndale, and Richard Siegel, 71, of Long Beach, were arrested this week after police said they found more than 2,800 boxes of Legos at Siegel’s home.

“Individual items seized varied in retail value from $20.00 to well over $1,000,” a police statement said.

Dave Overfelt, president of the Missouri Retailers Association, said despite all of the strategies to stop theft, it will take laws with real teeth to make a change, according to MissouriNet.

“The self-checkout is a problem, just like everything else. But frankly, a lot of the thieves today are coming in and just sweeping shelves, even behind counters, or just wheeling out their whole cart, daring the employees to do something,” Overfelt said.

He said he wants harsher penalties.

“A pawn-shop owner in Kansas City that sold over 14,000 items stolen from the local retailer valuing around $750,000 or more, probably retail twice that,” he said. “They got 20 months! How much time will they even serve?”


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