Cheney Safeway implements self-checkout

EWU students approve of self-checkouts for technological, social and business reasons

Photo+of+a+Safeway+self-checkout+machine.+

Photo obtained from flickr

Photo of a Safeway self-checkout machine.

By Karlee Van De Venter, Arts and Features Reporter

The Safeway in Cheney received a recent upgrade, getting several self-checkout kiosks.

Self-checkout kiosks have been growing in popularity in the past few years.

There are many debates about the new technology. Some believe it encourages shoplifting, while others claim it prevents it. Some say it creates a better customer experience, while others think it’s inconvenient. But how does this affect Cheney residents, or EWU students, working there?

Many students have already used the new technology.

EWU freshman Alyvia Kendall, used one this week and compared it to other experiences she’s had with self-checkout. “I think it is not as attentive as the Walmart one, like it doesn’t yell at you for stuff. It felt easier to use than the ones at Walmart. I like it because then I don’t have to socialize,” Kendall said.

I like it because then I don’t have to socialize,” -Alyvia Kendall, EWU Freshman 

Kendall is not alone. An analysis of selfcheckout done by MIT reported that one of the biggest benefits of self-checkout is privacy. Consumers don’t want to feel judged, and younger generations tend to shy away from being social if they don’t have to.

Freshman Aunna Isakson also recently used the machines. Her experience was “pretty good.” Isakson also said she was asked before checking out if she needed help finding anything.

“The first self checkout I went to said ‘Please wait for assistance’ before I even scanned anything, so I went to a different one,” Isakson said. “The other one worked just fine, and I happily left the store with my ice cream.”

Isakson brought up another benefit of self checkout: employees now have time to help customers throughout their shopping trip. Instead of having so many employees stuck at cash registers, self checkout allows these employees to be located elsewhere.

Safeway is owned by Albertsons, so all nearby locations got the same upgrade. EWU junior Ryan Burgess has worked at a Spokane Valley Albertsons for nearly two years. He said that hours haven’t been affected since the installation.

“It’s made business a lot faster and more efficient,” -Ryan Burgess, EWU Junior

“It’s made business a lot faster and more efficient,” Burgess said. “We always have one person manning the self check machines to make sure people aren’t stealing, and to help them with anything, like checking IDs for alcohol, et cetera. I wasn’t a fan at first. But I like them now.”

Burgess said one of the ways they make business more efficient is allowing a divide to form by the amount of items they have. Customers with fewer items will use the self-checkouts, and those with a large number of items will use the regular checkouts. This way, people won’t have to wait as long.

Overall, students seem to enjoy the upgraded technology, both as employees and customers. Students particularly appreciate the ability to socialize less while shopping more efficiently. While there may still be some downsides, there seem to be plenty of positives that students have noticed. •