The Wentzville Walmart Supercenter has added handheld scanners to its offerings for customers who use the self-service checkout lanes.
The scanners are available from a kiosk at the entry. Currently, an employee (in addition to the regular greeter) is stationed at the kiosk to explain how the handheld scanners are used.
Shopping carts have been retrofitted with holders for the scanner and also for plastic bags. When shoppers chose an item, they scan it and immediately bag the item. The scanner keeps a running total, which is useful for those who want to keep their purchases below a certain amount.
70 West Sentinel tried out the new scanners during a recent visit. Although it takes extra time to find the bar code, scan, check the scanner to make sure the item registered, and then to bag the item, time was made up at the checkout. We simply pointed the scanner at a QR code on the screen, and all the purchases were transferred to the checkout screen, totaled, and options were given for payment. A Walmart employee then visually inspected the cart and checked the receipt.
We had no problems with any items not scanning. Produce, however, proved a little more complicated. Some items, such as tomatoes, had to be weighed and the weight entered on the scanner. Cucumbers were not marked with a code, so we had to do an item search.
A Walmart employee said that the new scanners have been in place for less than a week, that customers are trying them, and that they seem to be pleased with them.
Walmart rolled out the scan tools in Canada last October. The company also has a mobile app called Walmart Scan & Go, which can be downloaded onto a smart phone and used to scan and pay for items.
After the passage of a new tax law that gave an approximate $1 trillion tax cut to businesses, Walmart announced plans on January 11 to boost its starting hourly wage to $11. The retail giant also stated that it would give bonuses to employees and expand some benefits. That same day, the company announced that it was closing 63 of its Sam’s Club stores (the store in Wentzville was not affected).