Pick n Pay has introduced the first self-service checkout till at its Observatory branch for a trial period, allowing customers to scan and pay for their items independently.
- Read Tips for a Successful Interview
The cashier’s role will be eliminated, similar to the way self-service tills have been used in other countries like the United States and United Kingdom. Pick n Pay is the first South African supermarket to trial the technology.
According to David North, Pick n Pay’s group executive of strategy and corporate affairs, the aim is to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers and save them time at the till. While some people have welcomed the new innovation, others are concerned it may result in job losses.
Pick n Pay addressed concerns about the impact of self-service checkout technology on job creation, assuring customers that the machines would not replace traditional checkout counters or cashiers. Rather, they would provide an additional service that complements existing staff.
The company is committed to creating 5,000 new jobs each year and believes that the self-service option will not have a negative impact on employment. However, some consumers have expressed concerns about safety and the potential for increased crime at self-service tills.
In the UK, a study found that these machines have led to an increase in theft by otherwise honest customers, as well as frustration when items cannot be scanned properly.
The Pay branch located in Observatory is testing out a self-service checkout system. According to the company’s management, it may take up to six months to gather useful and dependable data on the feasibility of this new venture. The first set of performance results will be analyzed in four weeks.