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It’s effective to install high-performance cameras at self-checkout systems to monitor shoppers’ eye and hand movements. It’s also essential to assign employees to appropriate areas to help deter crime.

15 Comments

Tomoo Okubo, an associate professor specializing in criminal psychology at Kagawa University. He was commenting on ways that supermarkets and other retailers can stem the increasing number of thefts involving self-checkout systems, in which shoppers scan their own purchases and pay for goods without the involvement of store employees.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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It is more effective to remove the self-checkout systems and return to personal interaction with staff and cashiers.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Shop at market stalls and independent retailers. If retails is left in the hands of big business, they will eventually become ration warehouses that require digital ID... this is happening in Iran already https://fbnglobalnews.com/news/irans-raisi-cuts-back-on-bread-subsidies/

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Big brother be watching, how do you like these apples? The future may become a lonely, sterile, mechanical place. Agree with the comments above. Where possible, try and shop local, where you can still have a bit of banter with the shopkeepers.

My tiny prediction is that you’ll have two options. Go for the cheaper, big chain robot run conglomerates, or if you’re lucky enough to have a few more funds to your name you’ll go to retro human run shops, pay a bit more but be part of an actual community. The two tiered economy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Just bring back cashiers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

well someone hasn’t been hired for a job then, because the customers doing it for free. It’s cheap to let the customer pinch something than actually pay a member of staff.

the supermarkets want their cake and eat it. LoL

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Smoke and Mirrors. - Have used in Kansai supermarkets and appears there are more chances for customer mistakes than actual theft with both an additional scanner in the bagging area next to the register AND at least one staff overseeing the transaction queues.

The weight and number of items in the pre-checkout basket area and the bagging area need to match before you pay.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Simple. Go back to a conveyor belt system like airport preflight scanners IF corporations can afforded them but stop blaming you suspected made-up “losses” on your customers.

Here’s the original May 25, 2022 Yomiuri Shimbun story where AssProf. Okudo here is apparently accounting for his “consultation” fee paid by the grocery conglomerates and increased need for ‘security and surveillance’ lobbyists:

https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20220525-31025/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Uniqlo/GU and Eslite are perfecting the self checkout systems but desperate and hungry people aren’t after clothes or books.

Supermarkets need staff to handle the meat, fish, produce and dairy as well as show the goodwill and loyalty of their employers toward paying customers.

We must stop with all these greedy corporations pushing for AI and machines to monitor and control our lives and reset our societies back to real human interactions again.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yeah, overall it sounds more expensive to install, maintain and monitor than to just invest a few bucks for some check out staff.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That’s a crazy overdoing, because all losses, by potential theft, broken packages, other unsellable goods by look or exceeded freshness dates etc, that’s all already included as a certain percentage in the prices and has to be paid by the last ones in the chain, the customers, in any case, if there are really thefts or losses, none, more or less, doesn’t play a role. We already paid it in advance. Such stricter controls and expensive technical surveillance equipment everywhere only contributes to even more inflation and higher prices in economy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Envision some corporate moustache twirling, “heh heh heh, … and we will get the consumers to pay for it all”.

Concur with the majority of comments here so far.

Systematic elimination of human interactions, increased government surveillance under the guise of “security and crime detection”, rationing and dependence on electronic transactions for daily sustenance and the collection of personal attributes and preferences is gradually making the greater populace more susceptible to increased manipulation by the affluent minority.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So they can sell footage to face recognition software developers?

If a retina scan is used for passport or other ID checks then these cameras may be copying one of your passwords.

Just put people back on tills. They need jobs. Staff can cope with stuff that tech cannot. People like human interaction. Some folk may go through their day speaking to nobody else but the retail store workers who serve them.

If a store with staff opened next to an automated one, I would use the one with staff, even if the prices were higher.

Unfortunately, governments with nationalist regimes don't want migrant workers, so will lean on chains to automate. They will oblige to save cash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A supermarket I use - part of the professors research - moved over to half self service early this year.

One of the principal reasons was sourcing enough staff with skills or learning abilities to work registers. The shop is open from 7 - 10, 7 days a week.

I guess we'll be seeing more of these "services" in the future.

And I often wondered when checking-out myself, how many people cheat? Obviously a few.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is one of the reasons why I no longer use 7-eleven, the guys working there no longer pack your things (because you bring your own bag) and they don't take your money because you have to do it by yourself, they are there just to check you don't steal things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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