Target is currently trying a new policy in a handful of stores that, if successful, could have a major impact on future trips you make to the retailer's locations in the Garden State.

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And if you guessed this has something to do with self-checkout, you would be correct.

Do shoppers like self-checkout?

First, this question must be asked: do shoppers actually like self-checkout?

Well, yes and no.

According to,

Customer preference for self checkout systems is based on speed, privacy when paying, and seamless customer experience. In addition to this, customers tend to feel in control of their shopping experience when using self-checkout compared to standing in line with a store clerk.

Citing poll results from Javelin Strategy & Research, 56% of shoppers prefer self-checkout lanes over humans.

Another poll found these results:

  • 84% of those surveyed said they like using self-service kiosks
  • 60% said they use self-service so they don't have to talk to a person

But there has been some pushback recently.

ShopRite changes

ShopRite - Photo: Google Maps
ShopRite - Photo: Google Maps

Within the past couple of months, some ShopRite stores removed self-checkout lanes after shoppers complained.

The chain told NBC 10 they are leaning towards having more human cashiers and hybrid self-checkout systems with employees there to help.

Target's trial run

Target in Manahawkin NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Target in Manahawkin NJ - Photo: Google Maps

Meanwhile, while Target does not have any plans to reduce self-checkout lanes, they are now trying a policy in a handful of stores that would limit customers to only being able to buy ten items or less by themselves.

That obviously means when you have eleven or more things in your cart from your most glorious Target run ever, you'll have to wait in line for a human cashier just like you had to back in the olden days.

Oh, the humanity.

A Target spokesperson told WBAL-TV the test was designed to shorten wait times and "better understand" shoppers' preferences.

Your Target experience?

grocery shopping cart (Getty Stock)
Getty Stock

But if you are making a Target run, is that what you want?

Do you want to wait in a line where every person in front of you has an overflowing cart?

I don't know how your store is, but my local Target has grand total of four self-checkout lanes, which means it's pretty common for the line to stretch half-way across the store -- all while having more than one human cashier working at any given time is a rare event.

Something's gotta give. Either Target needs more humans or more self-checkout machines. If they want people to wait in line when they have a cart full of stuff, they're going to have to find a ton of people who are willing to work.

Sadly, that seems like quite a challenge these days.

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Let's take a walk through a virtual vintage shopping mall that features nothing but stores that can no longer be found in the great Garden State.

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