Costco tests self-checkout at some stores

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Costco is testing self-checkout lanes at some of its U.S. stores as part of a push to speed up the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

It’s not the first time Costco has tried self-checkout, but a recent test that includes at least three Arizona locations suggests the Kirkland, Wash.-based warehouse club operator sees a fresh chance to streamline sales by adding self-service hardware.

In a store in Scottsdale, Ariz., Costco replaced three full-line cashier lanes with six self-checkout stations equipped with Toshiba terminals that accept payment cards and no cash. Costco was not available to answer questions about the test.

Walmart and McDonald’s are each spending millions to replace traditional in-store order and checkout processes with digital approaches, while Amazon and others are working eliminate checkout stations altogether.

Costco’s goal likely is twofold, said Richard Crone, president of Crone Consulting LLC.

“Time is money to consumers and retailers, so adding self-checkout can improve the customer experience while speeding up traffic through the store and retailers measure checkout time in milliseconds,” Crone said.

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