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January 1, Target Self-Checkouts: Convenience vs Theft, New Anti-Theft Tech Looms



Over the past year, Target has implemented numerous changes to its self-checkout system, including item limits, increased security, and reduced hours of operation. These measures are aimed at preventing theft, but many customers find them frustrating.

Loss prevention experts argue that these self-checkout kiosks are a financial liability for Target due to rising theft rates. Cory Lowe, Director of Research at the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), says, “It’s essentially putting customers on the honor system, which you can only imagine how bad that can go.”

While self-checkout is “very desirable” for customers, it comes with a “risk of shopper error while using the systems,” according to Lowe. One example of this occurred recently in Florida, where a man was accused of swapping barcode stickers on Pokémon trading card packs at Target’s self-checkout machines.

Richard Reppert is now facing more than two dozen counts of theft and fraud after he allegedly paid $4.99 for items that normally cost over $50 each. He reportedly did this for three consecutive months before being caught. Lowe refers to this type of fraud as an “enormous issue.”

Target is trying various strategies to combat this problem, including “receipt checking” and “reducing the number of items that are allowed to be scanned at a self-checkout area.” Lowe also suggests that a self-checkout loyalty membership may be helpful in the future.

“Restricting self-checkouts to only people who have identified themselves, so if I’m a loyalty card member,” Lowe says. “It’s a value exchange, right? I’m trading as personally identifiable information for reduced friction, shopping.”

Target has not yet indicated plans for a membership program like this, but they are reportedly planning to install new anti-theft technology called Truscan in their self-checkout lanes. This technology will detect anything near a kiosk that has not been scanned, releasing audio and visual cues if an item isn’t scanned correctly. It will also keep a digital record of customers with a history of improper scanning.

Truscan is expected to roll out sometime this year, according to reports.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.




  1. Elaine Sautter

    June 17, 2024 at 7:57 am

    How about HIRINg Competent workers

  2. David Campbell

    June 17, 2024 at 10:36 am

    Why don’t they spend less time and money and employ people instead? Because technological changes can be made doesn’t mean they always should. If Target wants to identify with people, try using people! How’s that for a concept?

  3. J. R. Voigtsberger

    June 19, 2024 at 3:15 am

    Yeah, self-checkout? It’s a lot easier just to bring a sledgehammer. Bust in the stores’ windows and doors, and make off with whatever you want. No questions asked. No prosecutions.

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