General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Why does Super Walmart and a few other stores have so many check out lanes but only use very few?

Asked by AshlynM (10552points) March 22nd, 2017

Seems like they only use ten or less, plus the self checkout.

Are they understaffed? Does the store just not want to pay their employees to run them? And the store could be packed with customers but the remaining registers will still be closed. Once in a blue moon they might open one to move things faster.
Why did they build all those checkout lanes if they never use them?

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14 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Understaffed because they are cheap. They don’t care if the lines are long – they figure that once the person has gotten into line, the person isn’t going to leave.

Cashiers are an expense. More cashiers = more expenses = less profit.

zenvelo's avatar

Back in the days when Sam Walton was alive, he had a philosophy, “no one should ever have to stand in line to give me money.”

So WalMart had a longstanding policy of opening a new register if there were more than three people in a line. I guess that has gone by the wayside.

You can solve your problem by not shopping at WalMart. I have only been in a WalMart once, that was to get something required for my daughter’s third grade class that was not available anywhere else. After parents complained to the teacher, that particular item was no longer mandatory.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I hate shopping at walmart but around here at times there is no good way around it. It’s staffing. I will say though that I have some good friends who are now family through marriage that were refugees and walmart employs them with some benefits when other employers would not.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The cash registers that are not being used are part of the “exit route” or security barrier. The big Walmarts are broad across the front and have to have a broad barrier to match.

The reason they are not staffed has been cover above ^^^ !

jca's avatar

Short staffed.

kritiper's avatar

I suppose it the same reason some gas stations have multiple drawers on their cash registers: Each person on shift has his or her own drawer. If a mistake is made, it is theirs and theirs alone.

JLeslie's avatar

During Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Super Bowl, Independence Day, and other holidays the staff is built up to open more or all of those registers. Staffing fluctuates a lot in retail stores throughout the year. If you’re always in a line 3+ people deep at your Walmart then I would say they are chronically understaffed or poorly managed.

cinnamonk's avatar

It’s strategic. The more time customers spend in line staring at the shelves of “impulse items” that prepend each register, the more likely they are to spend money on them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I wish our Walmart was like that. I shop there frequently, and every check-out is staffed and packed. It has got to be the busiest Walmart ever. They have a full-time shelf stocking staff as well. My grandson used to work there, but quit because of the strange work schedule that changed every day.

AshlynM's avatar

@zenvelo I rarely go to Super Walmart these days. I usually shop at Target so it really isn’t a problem.

nightwolf5's avatar

I hear you. Yes they are understaffed, however when our Super Walmart first opened they used all their lanes. It gradually became like you say. They want more people to use self check out, which I do not like. It doesn’t bother them to fix this even if lines are long. The company wants to pay as little as possible, and put others out of business.

AshlynM's avatar

I hate the self checkouts as well. Sometimes there isn’t an employee around to ask for help if there’s a problem. At my local grocery, the self checkouts are always manned.

jca's avatar

If I only have a few things and nobody’s at Customer Service, I’ll ask the Customer Service person if she’ll take me and they usually do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They are there solely for the Christmas rush.

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