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09/14/2022

Citing theft, Wegmans ending self-checkout

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Self-checkout will soon be a thing of the past at Wegmans.

Scan-and-go is going away at Wegmans.

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is ceasing its Wegmans Scan “scan and go” self-checkout offering as of Sunday, Sep. 18. In an email to users of the Wegmans Scan app which has since been widely reposted on Twitter, the regional East Coast grocer said losses from theft associated with self-checkout is forcing it to end the program.

“Early in the pandemic, we quickly rolled out our Scan app to provide a contactless in-store shopping option. Scan users have told us they love the app and the convenience it offers,” Wegmans said in the email. “We love it too and have tried many adjustments to keep it. Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state.”

Wegmans is applying a $20 coupon to the accounts of Scan app users as a sign of gratitude and to apologize for any inconvenience caused its decision to stop offering self-checkout. The company also said it would “continue to introduce new digital solutions to streamline your shopping experience for the future.”

Introduced at a Rochester, N.Y. store in 2019, Wegmans Scan enables customers to connect to the store WiFi network and link the app to their Shoppers Club loyalty account. Once connected, customers can start scanning and bagging as they go.

Loyalty discounts and clipped digital coupons are automatically applied to the order. Customers can also see a running total for their order as they shop. After stopping at a self-checkout register and applying payment, customers can leave the store.

Fewer retail thieves caught but more dollars recovered

Shoplifting is a serious problem across the retail industry. The recent Jack L. Hayes International's 34th Annual Retail Theft Survey, which reviewed 200,000 shoplifters and dishonest employee apprehensions in 2021 by 25 large retail companies, indicates that participating retailers apprehended 204,404 shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2021, down 12.8% from 2020.

However, the participating retailers in the survey recovered more than $240 million from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2021, up 9.9% from 2020. The dollars recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made was $339 million, up an “astounding” 51.1% in 2021, according to the survey.

Average case values increased substantially in 2021, according to the report. The value for total thefts rose 26.0%, while the value increased 26.6% for shoplifting and rose 22.6% for dishonest employees. The survey cited issues including the pandemic environment, increasing violence among thieves and lower/less police response as helping to drive higher-loss shoplifting incidents.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 106-store supermarket chain headquartered in Rochester, N.Y. operating in seven states: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.The family company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by Fortunemagazine for 25 consecutive years, ranking #3 in 2022. The company also ranked #1 on People’s 2021 ‘Companies That Care’ list.