Target to limit self-checkout option to 10 items

Target will limit self-checkout to 10 items, claiming the move will improve the customer experience and speed up the process.

The Minneapolis-based retailer joins dozens of other retail chains, including rival Walmart, that have limited or removed self-checkout kiosks amid complaints about clunky technology and concerns about rising theft.

The change will go into effect Sunday at most of the Minneapolis-based chain’s nearly 2,000 stores nationwide, the retail giant said.

Target will limit customers’ self-check out items to 10 or less. Helayne Seidman

Along with paring back customers’ self-checkout hauls, stores will expand the number of traditional checkout lanes available. 

Target piloted the new self-checkout limits at 200 stores last fall before expanding the change nationwide, the company said.

“By having the option to pick self-checkout for a quick trip, or a traditional, staffed lane when their cart is full, guests who were surveyed told us the overall checkout experience was better, too,” the company said.

Target attributed the change partly to shifting consumer patterns, noting the self-checkout option was a boon during the height of the pandemic when customers sought minimal contact with others.

The change will go into effect Sunday at most of the Minneapolis-based chain’s nearly 2,000 stores nationwide, the retail giant announced. Alamy Stock Photo

The self-checkout revamp is coming as Target has bemoaned a surge in organized retail crime plaguing its stores nationwide. 

Last fall, Target shuttered nine stores in cities nationwide, including San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and in Harlem, citing concerns over its employees “safety” amid increasingly violent crime. 

New York retailers bemoaned organized shoplifting rings cost them a staggering $4.4 billion in 2022. 

The policy change comes as Target and other stores struggle with organized retail theft. UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

And a survey earlier this year found the ability to swipe items undetected was among the reasons Gen Z favors self-checkouts.

Other retail giants have been testing their self check-out options, with Walmart stores closing some of their contactless lanes entirely.

“From time-to-time, our stores adjust the use of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts,” a Walmart spokesperson told NBC’s Today. “For example, a store might start or end the day with staffed checkouts. As the number of shoppers and associate staffing increases, these stores open self-checkout registers to manage the increased customer flow. This process isn’t new.”

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