With little fanfare, a local retailer has introduced a new check out procedure at its establishment. Home Depot, a new arrival to the retail scene, can now boast of having a “self service checkout” – a first for the city of Cornwall.
Customers can now proceed to a counter and scan their own merchandise, scan their credit or debit cards, obtain their own receipts, bag their goods and exit the store without dealing with any staff.
The Home Depot checkout area is set up with 4 checkout stations under the supervision of one staff to offer assistance for this new procedure, and to troubleshoot.
A first impression might suggest that this is another feat of technology and an improvement in convenience but as always there’s a lot more at stake.
Getting customers to shop, choose, and check out their own goods will mean the loss of many, many jobs. Whereas the retail ‘big box’ stores have been built on the promise of jobs for the community, this new innovation runs in the opposite direction. Cashier jobs will be phased out as “self service checkouts” become the norm. As the whole industry proceeds in this direction, the results will be devastating.
Remember the introduction of the ATM’s and the loss of thousands of bank teller jobs. Sure it’s convenient and yes we have adapted, but where are the new jobs for those people? Some of them may have moved to retail sales, but unfortunately the corporations all have the same idea. Maximize profits at all cost, downsize staffing and to hell with the working class.
Is it not better for society to have people involved in productive work rather than being unemployed. Unfortunately, the big corporations don’t see it that way.