Superstore giant Walmart is testing out a new policy replacing all cashiers at one of their stores with self-checkout kiosks, and they’re considering doing it all over the country.
The pilot program is being implemented at their store in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but if it is successful it could be heading to stores all across the country.
Customers that need assistance will still be able to get help from employees, said a spokesperson for Walmart.
The goal of the program is to increase safety in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic by limiting human interaction. An added benefit is an increase in speed of checking out purchases.
Feedback from customers and employees will be used to gauge the successfulness of the program.
The increase in self-checkout kiosks may have important ramifications for the nationwide minimum wage debate. Walmart is the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees, and also the largest in the United States, with 1.3 million workers.
It will also have implications for the question of how many of the jobs that have been lost during the course of the coronavirus pandemic will be lost permanently.
In April 2019 Walmart announced that they would be expanding their fleet of robots to replace human workers in specific jobs.
Here’s a local news video about the new policy:
Fayetteville Walmart switches to self-checkouts only