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Wegmans scraps self-checkout app after spate of shoplifting

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Wegmans bagged its self-checkout app because too many patrons skipped paying and gave themselves a five-finger discount, the favored supermarket chain said.

The SCAN app, which was introduced throughout the pandemic in 2020, will probably be shut off Sunday.

“Unfortunately, the losses we’re experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state,” CEO Colleen Wegman said in a memo to customers.

The fashionable market’s shoppers quickly registered their outrage on social media.

“Removing its SCAN app will single-handedly damage the best way i food shop any longer. Cannot consider they’re putting off this incredible service,” tweeted one shopper.

One other tweeted: “Not completely satisfied to see @Wegmans SCAN app going away. It will literally make me shop less at Wegmans. The convenience of completing my shopping, bagging my very own items, and never having to undergo regular checkout often made it value a separate trip.”

The SCAN app helped Wegmans customers avoid long lines at checkout.Corbis via Getty Images

Some lamented that they were being punished for others’ misdeeds.

“Is there anything your loyal and faithful customers can do to persuade you to maintain the SCAN app? It was the GREATEST convenience during and after COVID and it should negatively impact the shopping experience moving forward. Signed, Your customers who didn’t steal.”

Wegmans said it “tried many adjustments to maintain” the app, in accordance with the memo.

Wegmans memo to customers.Wegmans sent out a memo to its SCAN customers, explaining that it could end on Sept. 18.Twitter / @DakotaInDC

Wegmans will hand out a $20 credit to SCAN customers as a peace offering, the corporate said.

Retail theft, particularly at grocery stores, is a growing problem, with some supermarkets in Latest York hiring armed, off-duty law enforcement officials to face by the exits. Still many thieves have made off with lots of of dollars of products every single day. 

Scan-and-go technology took off throughout the pandemic when customers were anxious to limit their contact with people and to exit stores quickly. 

A Wegmans store aisle.Wegmans is offering its customers who signed up for the SCAN app a $20 credit.Bloomberg via Getty Images

While such apps enhance the shopping experience for patrons, in addition they makes it “easy to scam the system” said retail consultant Brittain Ladd.

Against this, Amazon Go stores, which don’t have any cashiers and depend on a system of cameras and lasers to scan items customers put into their shopping carts, has virtually no theft, Ladd said.

“No matter how someone tries to steal something, the [Amazon] system will discover that the shopper picked up an item and ought to be charged for the item.”

Amazon’s technology has not been more widely adopted by other retailers though the e-commerce giant is offering it to the industry since it’s an expensive investment, Ladd said, estimating that it cost Amazon initially about $1 million to put in the technology in its Amazon Go stores.  

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