The times they are a-changin’—even for +80-year-old grocer Harris Teeter. As consumers’ habits change, it's no secret that retailers are changing to keep up with them. The latest to make moves in this department is none other than Harris Teeter, whose uptown store on West Sixth Street in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be eliminating its cashiers and a transitioning to self-checkout only format.
Danna Robinson, Communication Manager with Harris Teeter, stated in an email to local news outlet WDBJ that the average transaction in the retailer’s uptown store is “significantly smaller than our traditional stores.” She also noted that this move to self-checkout would not eliminate any jobs.
“We believe this will allow us to provide better customer service by having more lanes available, so shoppers should be able to get in and out more quickly. This is our only store of this size, so there are no plans to move forward past this unique design,” Robinson said.
In a statement, the grocer said that it is moving away from self-checkout at this location to do away with long register lines. With a store size of 18,000 square feet, the Charlotte store is roughly half the size of a traditional Harris Teeter and, typically, the location gets busy with uptown professionals and urban residents making small purchases.
Self-checkout has increased in popularity over the years, as retailers look to speed up transaction time and up the number of sales in their stores. According to a report from RBR, a London firm that studies banking and retail automation, in 2016 sales of self-checkout terminals increased by 67 percent. This increase, the firm noted, was driven by retailers throughout the United States looking to invest in store transformation.
Although the retailer has no current plans to update any of its other traditional stores to self-checkout, this update—and a potential sales increase—suggest changes might be forthcoming. Deli Market News will continue to report with updates.