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Walmart Ending Its Scan & Go Shopping Experiment As Amazon

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Walmart has ended its Scan & Go test at stores in a few states including Texas, Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee.

The phase out comes as Amazon said it will take its automated convenience store, Amazon Go, to Chicago and San Francisco. Like it has with so many other shopping experiences, Amazon will be teaching more customers to like something new. Amazon opened its first Go store in Seattle letting its own employees shop there first and then opening it to the public in January.

The scan-as-you-shop system will continue in Sam’s Clubs, said Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield. While the service test has ended, she said, the retailer is “working to bring customers more convenience and so we’ll use what we’ve learned to improve this and other services in the future”.

So while it may be back in some other form, others are working on automating stores and so is Walmart. Its big orange towers that dispense online shopping orders are being added to 500 more stores nationwide. So far, there are 170 installed in the US, including 17 in Texas. A dozen more are being installed in Dallas-Fort Worth.

In a few hundred stores, including several in Texas, Hatfield said, Walmart has started another program where staff with mobile devices can checkout customers anywhere in the lawn and garden section rather than having to go through the traditional line.

Ten stores in Dallas-Fort Worth were part of the Scan & Go experiment. The program worked in two ways: with hand-held devices that could sit in a cradle on the shopping cart and from an app on customers’ smart phones.

A labour union backed group, Making Change at Walmart, said Walmart is giving up on the technology because customers don’t want to do the job of a cashier. And “eliminating cashiers doesn’t result in more convenient shopping”, said Randy Parraz, director of of MCAW. — The Dallas Morning News/Tribune News Service

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