Question

JCPenney Retail Suicide?

I know this does not relate to Sears, but Jcpenney plans to eliminate checkout clerks with automated self-checkouts: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/07/19/jcpenneys-to-eliminate-check-out-clerks/

Answers

15 answers

      • San Jose, CA

    I'm not sure how well this would work for sears.

    Sear's use of technology relies heavily on redundant systems.

    There are TWO chillers, with only one on at a time, to keep the building cool.

    If a register is "down", one has to move to another register that is functioning.

    Having a customer do this would not be as acceptable as the nice sales person or cashier suggesting you step to a certain "register" in a cluster of two to four registers.

    They "know" which registers are acting up that day.

    For self-checkout to work, you need a LOT of redundancy and at least one human being monitoring everyone's progress on the registers they're using.

    1. Updating to self checkout would require Sears to invest in its stores. All the old registers replaced with more expensive models and cost of maintenance from misuse, without any guarantee of ROI. Sears would rather make money by closing or selling stores than to invest in company-wide changes. Besides, Sears.com is already Sears' self-checkout. So Sears gets the best of both. In the future, Self-checkouts will be done via Mobile Phones. Lookup some thing called MCX, or "Merchant-Customer Exchange". A mobile way to pay collaborated with every top retailer that may eventually replace Credit Cards. Sears may be building up the SHOP Your Way brand to serve this purpose. Mobile Checkout.

    2. BTW by mobile checkout, I mean something to rival Paypal and Google Checkout. MCX is currently a joint venture between various retailers that aside from Sears includes: Walmart, 7-Eleven, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, Best Buy, Dillards, Lowes, Publix, Shell, Sunoco, Wakefern Food Corp, Sheen, Michaels, HMS Host, Gap, and Dunkin' Brands. But this has nothing to do with JCP nor instore Self-checkout, Just something im throwing out there.

  1. If I only have a few I items I always choose the self-service checkouts unless there is no line. I hate being stuck behind someone who wants to argue about their coupon because they have one that's not valid, hear someones kid screaming cause mommy wont buy them candy, someone trying to buy things on their public assistance card that doesn't qualify, someone who after something is scanned says "oh i don't want that after all" to 1/3 of the items they have...etc. I'm an in and out shopper. I get what I need and leave. Usually I do shopping on my day off or after work. I want as little contact with people as possible.

      • San Jose, CA

    So. Who enjoys the self-check out island at your local Home Despot?

    Do you search for a register with a human occupant?

    Or, do you do what I do; Clog the Professional Services and Check out line?

    1. Just last week I left over $1000 in building materials sitting at the front of my local Home Depot, because there was not a single human cashier working. My rule is simple. If you want me to do the work at the check out, you can either pay my consultant rate ($75/ hr four hour minimum) or I get to set the prices for the merchandise.

      Even the "Pro" counter was unmanned

      Lowes got my business that day

    2. And before you ask, I did call the corporate office, and ended up talking to a district manager. He did not try to defend the store, instead he was apologetic and actually asked me to call him directly if I was in the store again, and had a problem.

  2. What do you think of eliminating all checkout clerks in favor of self-checkout machines? Would you like to see something like that at Sears? I think its the worst idea I have ever read. And here we have Sears currently cross-training MCA's to fulfill checkout duties.

    1. In response to Civsci

      There is nothing wrong with self checkout machines at least you do not have to listen to the blurb about PA's or email addresse. Total elimintion iot a good idea either.

    2. In response to Civsci

      We have complaints on this site about about not finding associates at Sears, imagine what incentives store managers will have for staffing departments when the new motto over there will apparently be "do it yourself" They are eliminating jobs and replacing them with machines to save money.

    3. In response to Civsci

      The two things that made JCP stand out was customer service and its discount prices. The ladder went down the drain already with Jonson and the company plummeted in sales, now with the upcoming move, so will customer service.

    4. In response to Civsci

      JCP has made some bad moves, mostly in the pricing line. They did have better customer service than some stores. Now they are going to eliminate the check out clerks, meaning that the customer will either have to do it themselves, or more likely go elsewhere.

      Poor customer service will cause customers to go elsewhere.

    5. In response to Civsci

      Thieves would love this, it is very easy to steal when there is no one watching. Customers, on the other hand, will not be really happy with this policy. I know that if the only thing a store has is self serve registers, or they do not have enough manned registers to keep me from having to wait in a long line, they apparently do not want my business.

    6. In response to Civsci

      "We have complaints on this site about about not finding associates at Sears, imagine what incentives store managers will have for staffing departments when the new motto over there will apparently be "do it yourself" They are eliminating jobs and replacing them with machines to save money." For once I totally agree with you. Please note I did try to say total elimination is not a good idea. On the personal side I do not mind the self check out particularly if it gets me out quicker with just what I want and not have to wait for various people in front of me who always seem to have some sort of a problem.

    7. In response to Civsci

      Knowing Sears, they would program the self service machines to request e-mail addresses and phone numbers. The only difference would be that you would have to enter something before you could get to the next page to actually transact business.

      In MD the MVA (our name for DMV) has set it so you cannot renew your tags in person, but have to do so on a self serve machine. You have to enter a phone number or email address before it allows you to go any further. I can see Sears doing the same thing.