The Effects of Self Checkout Lines

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Consumers have a great impact on what is available in a variety of markets. As consumer demand shifts to new products, the market will adjust to provide those new products and services that the consumer has decided to be of some importance. From black and white televisions to LCD televisions, from cameras requiring film and then bringing it to the store to develop prints, to digital cameras that provide us with the ability of uploading images with the simple click of a button. Businesses who participate within the constantly changing market are all striving to meet one goal, increasing profit margins. Meeting this goal can be a challenging process, especially because the demand and needs of consumers are constantly changing. Recently the market has been adjusting rapidly to meet one of the increasing needs of consumers, a need that has become more and more important in the last few decades, convenience.

The next time that you take a trip to your local grocery or retail store and you are ready to end your shopping adventure and proceed to checkout consider the many options that you have. Depending on the number of items you are purchasing you might be able to go through the express lane, but as known by most consumers you can only purchase a maximum of ten items. There is the choice of waiting in a conventional line, which typically means waiting while a number of consumers before you complete each of their transactions. Then there is a modern option, the option of self checkout. This option allows consumers the ability to skip past the long lines, and the freedom of not having an item purchase limit (S. Dudley, personal interview, August 15, 2008). These self checkout lines are becoming increasingly popular for many reasons among both consumers and businesses. This has been written with the intent of providing you with researched information that will give you an introduction of knowledge relating to the effects of self checkout lines as it relates to both consumers and businesses. To provide you with a base knowledge you will be given information regarding four important factors relating to self checkout. After reading the information provided to you, you should have a general understanding of why self checkout was implemented, how it affects businesses, consumer preference, and the possible future of self checkout lines.

As the needs and trends of consumers within the market shift so will the production and technology associated within the market. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace it is a sure bet to any company to begin researching ideas on how they can use technological advances to benefit themselves. As businesses become more efficient they are able to increase their profit margins. One of the easiest ways to increase profit margins is to reduce labor costs. With the technology era here businesses are being presented with many options which allow them to either maintain or reduce labor expenses, while increasing efficiency. Self checkout is one of those forms of technology. Although the first large scale introduction of self checkout kiosks came in 2000, they have been in use since 1987 (Gemperlein, 2006). The reason for the gap between the introduction and the large scale introduction of this technology can be attributed to company research. When new technology is introduced into a market many businesses will sit in the shadows waiting to see if it has a negative or positive effect. This in return allows each company to make a much more educated decision on whether or not to implement the new form of technology within their business. However once a company decides to implement a new form of technology the change is typically rapid. This is because businesses are given a considerably lower purchasing price when they buy a larger quantity of the product being offered. An example of how quickly a company implements new technology can be seen by examining Home Depot. Home...
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