Major Grocery Store Chain Doing Away With Self-Checkout?

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

By Ryan Clancey
| Published

America’s number one grocery store, Wegmans, is ending the use of its SCAN app. This app lets customers scan their groceries as they shop in their stores. This reduces the bottleneck of customers at the tills and ensures a smooth shopping experience.

The family-owned grocery chain expressed that due to shoplifters not scanning all the items within their baskets and exploiting the technology, Wegmans cannot proceed and will not keep the app permanently in their shops, as the losses are too significant. 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 owners of the chain store could not keep it.

They admitted their frustration in removing the new technology. They told The Buffalo News,’ We love it too and have tried many adjustments to keep it. Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state.”

Addition from the Pandemic

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

In a world where people are crying out for more technology to be added to our retail shopping experience, this is a surprising response from such a big company. It also shows that sometimes technology might not work for the business even if the customers enjoy it. Self-checkouts have always been an area of high security for shop owners. Over 20% of consumers have admitted to having stolen something while using them. 

The scan app will be withdrawn from Wegman’s website and stores on September 18th, 2022. Despite the addition of the scan app costing the company, it has not given up on adding new technology in the future. Due to the app being so successful with its customers, they have decided to redraft and rebrand it and hopefully relaunch it soon.

Good News for Online Customers

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

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


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