Many stores provide self-checkout machines for customers. (Photo: CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Have you ever used a self-checkout machine? You scan and bag your own items. Then you pay for your purchase. No cashier required.

Self-checkouts first appeared about a decade ago. They seemed like a great idea at the time. Now, big box stores like Walmart, Giant Tiger, and Canadian Tire are rethinking the idea.

The rise of the self-checkout

At first, the new technology sounded like a win-win. Stores would save money because they wouldn’t need to pay as many cashiers. And with every checkout open all the time, customers could check out faster.