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Large supermarket chain to stop self-monitoring?

Wegmans is closing its self-checkout app due to its overwhelming contribution to product shrinkage in its stores.

By Ryan Clancey | published

America’s largest supermarket, Wegmans, stops using its SCAN app. This app allows customers to scan their groceries as they shop in their stores. This reduces the bottleneck for customers at the checkout and ensures a smooth shopping experience.

The family-owned retail chain said that because shoplifters don’t scan all items in their shopping carts and abuse the technology, Wegmans can’t move forward and keep the app permanently in their stores because the losses are too great. The more honest Wegmans customer has given the app excellent reviews, and it was a great addition to the Wegmans stores and a significant step forward into the future. But the chain’s owners couldn’t keep it up.

They admitted that they were frustrated with the removal of the new technology. They told The Buffalo News: “We love it too and have tried many tweaks to keep it. Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program mean that we cannot continue to make it available in its current state.”

Addition of the pandemic

Wegmans, first opened in 1916 in Rochester, New York, unveiled the self-scan app in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers demanded contactless shopping. They first rolled out the new technology in DeWitt, New York, and when they saw that it was a success, they expanded it to other locations in the US.

In a world where people are clamoring for more technology to be added to our shopping experience, this is a surprising response from such a large company. It also shows that technology sometimes doesn’t work for the company, even if the customers enjoy it. Self-checkouts have always been an area of ​​high security for store owners. More than 20% of consumers have admitted to stealing something while using it.

The scan app will be removed from Wegman’s website and stores on September 18, 2022. Despite the cost of adding the scanning app, the company hasn’t given up on adding new technology going forward. Since the app is so successful with its customers, they have decided to reformulate and rebrand the app and hopefully relaunch it soon.

Good news for online customers

Once the app is retired, every Wegmans customer with an online account will receive a $20 credit to use as a parting gift on their Shoppers Club account. Considering the company is known for its bulk selections and excellent customer service, this goodwill gesture is not surprising. This isn’t the first major chain to undo the addition of technology to their stores, Walmart had to suspend its scan-and-go program due to concerns about theft in 2018.

Technology is an innovative way to add a more comfortable, effortless shopping experience for the customer and employees when it works. Sometimes in our society we push innovation and expansion so far that we can’t see how it can have adverse effects. Wegmans gives the impression that although this app was not a success for them financially, they are not giving up on giving their customers the best experience.

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