Shoplifters force Wegmans to pull the plug on its self-scanning app
Wegmans is ending the use of its SCAN app, which enables customers to scan and bag items as they shop in its stores. The family-owned grocery chain concluded that it could no longer afford the losses associated with the app as shoplifters exploited the technology to walk out of stores with items they did not scan.
“SCAN users have told us they love the app and the convenience it offers,” the company wrote in an email to its customers, The Buffalo News reports. “We love it too and have tried many adjustments to keep it. Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state.”
Wegmans first rolled out the self-scanning app in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for contactless shopping. The chain deployed the technology at a store in DeWitt, NY, and then expanded it to other locations, according to Syracuse.com.
Self-checkout technology has always been seen as an easy mark by thieves looking to steal goods from stores. Reports in the past have posited that as many as 20 percent of individuals shopping in stores with self-checkout tech have stolen something.
Wegmans, despite this setback, is not fully giving up on self-scanning technology. In a message to customers, the grocery chain wrote, “We’ve made the decision to turn off the app until we can make improvements that will meet the needs of our customers and business. We’ve learned a lot, and we will continue to introduce new digital solutions to streamline the shopping experience for the future.”
Wegmans will retire the app on September 18 and is giving users, presumably including those that have already ripped it off, a courtesy credit of $20 to their online accounts.
- Shoplifting losses force Wegmans to shut down self-scanning app – The Buffalo News
- Wegmans drops 1 of its Covid-era shopping conveniences – Syracuse.com
- Wegmans to shut down SCAN app until it can make improvements – WKBW
- APP Canceled – NJ 101.5
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Wegmans’ experience with customers using its self-scanning tech to steal an outlier in retail or is it similar to the experience in other stores? What do you see as the future for self-scanning tech in retail stores?