Walmart & Target Have Made Changes to Their Self Checkout! Here’s What We Know…

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Did you hear about the changes coming to the Walmart Self Checkout area? 

target self checkout sign and cart

Attention Walmart AND Target shoppers…

Walmart and Target have made some changes recently regarding their self-checkout lanes, including closing their self-checkouts at certain times and returning to traditional checkout lanes.

In the meantime, a photo on Reddit of a sign indicating Spark shoppers could access self-checkout only sparked further curiosity causing many to question if this means you might have to pay to use self-checkout in the future. 🤔

Walmart Plus bags-2

According to Walmart executives, self-checkout procedures are routinely altered, and local managers are able to adjust them depending on factors such as customer traffic and staffing. However, it is unclear whether these changes will remain temporary or if they will serve as a testing ground for future permanent changes.

As Walmart adapts to the ever-changing retail landscape, only time will tell what permanent changes will take place.

Stay tuned for updates, and be prepared to bag those deals, whether at self-checkout or the more traditional staffed lanes!

Here’s what we know about the changes with Target checkouts…

scanning Target Wallet barcode at checkout

Target is also changing self-checkout with the introduction of Express self-checkout lanes nationwide, these express self-checkouts are designed for quick trips of 10 items or less.

These lanes promise speedy transactions during peak shopping times. Luckily, you won’t need to pay for a special membership to continue using this self-checkout option like the situation at Walmart might entail.

target shopping bags

Target tested this new policy for 10 items or less at self-checkout and revealed checkout times were twice as fast, offering customers the choice between self-checkout for quick transactions and staffed lanes for larger, more time-consuming purchases.

Do you think this policy will speed up your Target trips? I typically only use self-checkout when I need to look at something in-store and shop for bigger purchases online for pickup so I don’t have to deal with lines already.

How do you feel about these self-checkout changes? Let us know in the comments!

Be sure to follow this page for more news and updates on your favorite items and retailers!

About the writer:

Krystal has an associate's degree from Devry University, with over 6 years of writing experience between multiple publications in the fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and health industries.

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. momofthreenboys

    I have zero issues with either if there are enough lanes open for people to be checked out. I have W and get most of my groceries delivered but I buy my produce and some meat from Aldi. But I get why they’re doing what they’re doing. People can take way too long with way too many items in those self checkouts when I have gone in store and used them.

  2. mist

    It’s sad all the theft caused this.

  3. Michael E.

    Having the option of self-checkout is a good thing for those who face time issues. I certainly understand the frustration many have had at Walmart with the lack of employee-operated checkout lanes over the past couple of years. In turn, Walmart has lost some of its customer goodwill I believe. Lastly, I think that implementing any plan that might require the customer to pay for the “right” to self-checkout would be a huge mistake by any company. Remember, the customer has already saved you from having to pay wages and benefits to an employee by agreeing to use self-checkout. Paying for that “right” too? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    • Brittany

      Agreed. The audacity and entitlement of these mega corporations has been out of hand for years, and it is progressively getting worse. I also do not understand the point of Target’s “new” Circle program. All they did was pretty much rebrand their Shipt program and muddy up the offerings they already have. Nothing truly new and certainly not innovative.

      • LadyDay

        Yes, I am quite confused why they are changing it.

  4. Brittany

    I can foresee both stores still only having one to two cashiers at a time and the lines being backed up. It’s been that way for decades now, and that the point for originally putting in self checkout-to help mitigate staffing issues while “cutting down on checkout times.” I truly doubt Walmart or Target is willing to give their stores more employee hours to be properly staffed for these new changes-especially long term. I wish their cashiers luck.

  5. Melissa

    Perfectly fine with me, I don’t work for them, so they can ring my stuff up.🤣

    • lisa

      Agree with you,plus rather see people keeping their jobs.

  6. Melani

    I totally agree that self-checkout should be 10 items or less. But I also feel that there should be more paid cashier stations. Why should we check out our own items except for our own lack of free time?

  7. Anita Raise

    I don’t know, maybe if these multimillion corporations stopped balancing their books on the backs of their underpaid, overworked employees and stopped overcharging their already harried and frustrated customers, we could all put our heads together and come up with a suitable solution. Alas, whom am I kidding; corporate greed wins the day…again.

  8. Joker

    I’m still waiting for my W-2 from Walmart for my self checkout trips.

  9. Pam

    Once again they are giving people another reason to shop online instead of in-store. I am 69 so I don’t shop like I used to when raising our six children. So I love the self checkout lanes, because I usually don’t have much in my cart. I hate to go through the lines that are maned and have to stand behind two or three people with carts heaping. Most of the time if that is the case I will put my stuff back and leave. I would stop shopping at a place that charged me extra to have the right to self checkout. I don’t understand the people who complain that they don’t get paid to self checkout?? If you don’t like it you don’t have to go through that line, go to the line that is maned. It’s a choice.

    • Brittany

      Unfortunately, it is not always a choice and I think that is the problem. My local Targets and Walmarts are notorious for only having self checkout open. Furthermore, there seems to always be an issue at self checkout-whether someone doesn’t understand it, there is a double scan, a price issue, etc. so that holds up that register because they need employee assistance. That within itself is a task to get, a lot of times. I am also wary of self checkout because I have heard horror stories of these businesses treating people abominably because they may have accidentally not scanned an item. While I absolutely do not condone theft in any way, shape, or form, I do understand people make mistakes, especially when they may not be used to self checkout. Anyway, because of this, I go slow and make sure every single item is rang at self checkout. I even go over the item list at the end just to make sure everything scanned before paying. If there was a cashier available, then I would not have to worry about this because I would usually use them. There are pros and cons to both, but these corporations are not allowing both to be often utilized in a convenient fashion. It is more of an either/or situation. Lastly, customers are fed up with the costs of business falling solely on them while these mega corporations rake in millions and billions in profit. From prices sky rocketing, to shrinkflation, to having to self service, it all falls back on the customers’ shoulders and it is appalling, so that is why many refuse to use self checkout. They feel they are paying to be serviced when purchasing merchandise and there is no incentive/discount to self checkout.


    In the bright side, this is much better for scan and go customers. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait in a huge, long line behind people scanning their items, when you’ve done scan and go. It doesn’t save ME any time that way- only the people behind me.

  11. Denise

    I like self check because I can get a
    text receipt. I also love how I can get in and out fast. I also hate their bagging and prefer to bag my own groceries.

  12. Jan

    My store has 16 self check stations and usually only has one regular staffed checkout line open. If they want to restrict the self checkout to W+ members only, then they better put another 8 or more checkers on duty.

  13. Lynn

    Was not a fan of this at Target today. Only one cashier and all 4 self checkouts were for “express” only, it wasn’t even a “peak” time so not sure why the self checkouts need to be limited, especially if only one cashier. May end up doing less in store and more drive up!

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