Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business News

JCPenney to install self-checkout stands in stores

JCPenney’s bold move may ruffle some feathers, but this news has implications for businesses of all types and sizes.



A shift in the force

For years, grocery store patrons have grown accustomed to a select number of express lanes that allow shoppers to check themselves out, as overseen by a single clerk. Wal-Mart added self-checkout lanes years ago, but JCPenney CEO and former Apple executive, Ron Johnson is shaking things up as he has in recent months by aiming to make the entire checkout process automated at the retailer.

“I think it’s a bad idea all way around if you ask me,” JCPenney shopper, Jack Soffel told CBS Philadelphia1, adding that he worries the change will lead to poor customer service.

“I don’t want to walk into a place that’s so austere that it’s nothing but mechanics and automation,” he adds. “I like to talk to people, they help me, they ask me, they take me to find things.”

JCPenney has said that the process differs from grocers or Wal-Mart in that it does not replace people, rather “frees them up” to be on the floor in one of the niche boutiques within the store like Sephora or the upcoming denim bars.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Additionally, the company says that traditional bar codes will be thrown out, and radio frequency identification chips (RFID) on price tags, the same technology that is used in Passports, and even in books at many libraries in addition to their being used in inventory systems, product tracking, asset management, transportation, and in most hospitals to track things like equipment.

The plan is proposed to take effect in 2014, and while they assert jobs will not be lost, no promises have been made, which is an indication that some downsizing is possible.

What this means to small businesses

While most small businesses from mortgage brokers to food truck operators do not have checkout stands, the implication with JCPenney’s move is that automation is becoming a cost savings measure, and that technology can either “free up” people to give better customer service, or streamline operations.

RFID chips are not simply for retailers, but for any business handling physical product, and for companies that deal primarily with contracts, the implication is that enterprise is one step closer to automation, which is seen as a threat to jobs, but for company owners is a huge cost savings. As more technologies go mainstream, they become more realistic for businesses of all size to use, like RFID chips, electronic signatures, mobile apps, and the like.

1 CBS Pittsburgh report

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Finance

Hershey panicked the market announcing they would have limited Halloween supplies but has retracted. Was it hype or reality?

Business Finance

(BUSINESS FINANCE) U.S. retail sales aren't coming back as many had expected, as the nation braces for wintertime with COVID-19.

Business Marketing

(MARKETING) These tips and tricks are prime ways to boost the dollar amount spent at checkout and close more deals -- even on the...

Business News

(BUSINESS NEWS) Abercrombie is surviving the retail cull but in attempt to thrive in it, they are revamping their marketing.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.