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Grocers Ditch Self-Checkout Lanes Over Customer Service, Shoplifting Fears

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — At least two Southland grocery chains are pulling the plug on self-checkout lanes.

Albertson’s and Big Y stores will abandon the option over what they cited as customer service concerns, while Big Y specifically pointed to rising theft rates as another factor.

Retail security experts have found theft — intentional or not — can be as much as five times higher with self-checkout than with human cashiers.

Rapidly-developing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is likely to expand options in the coming years for smartphones that already allow customers to pay with a wave of their phone instead of fumbling with a credit or debit card.

Despite the moves by Albertson’s and Big Y, the absence of long lines and chatty cashiers has been popular enough to entice big national chains such as Walmart and CVS to expand their self-service options.

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