Wal-Mart expands shop-with-iPhone program

The company is happy with tests that allow customers to scan items with their phones and check out on their own.

By Kim Peterson Mar 20, 2013 3:34PM
Wal-Mart store in Secaucus, New Jersey / Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesWal-Mart (WMT) said Wednesday that its test program that lets shoppers scan items with iPhones has been a success.

The company is expanding the Scan & Go program to more than 200 stores from the 70 test locations, Reuters reports. In the program, shoppers go around the store and use their iPhones to scan the items they want to buy. Then they pay for their items at self-checkout counters.

The program works only with iPhones, but Wal-Mart plans to expand it to Android devices.

It's another way for Wal-Mart to get customers in and out of stores without talking to a single employee. If the program goes well, it would likely lead to reduced worker hours and less money spent on salaries.

Wal-Mart already uses self-checkout lanes at about 1,500 stores and it's adding them to 1,000 more stores this year, Reuters reports.

Some of the cities getting the Scan & Go technology include Phoenix; Dallas; Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; and Portland, Ore.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: WMT
Mar 20, 2013 5:56PM
Anybody who goes along with this idea is a fool.The one who benefits is Walmart not the Customer.The ultimate goal is to have nobody at the checkout lines.Next step they will have you stocking shelves.This will not lower prices, only get the Management and the people at the top bigger bonuses.I am seeing this trend in all the stores i shop at,Costco,Home Depot, ETC.Lets keep people working.Please do not use self checkout!
Mar 20, 2013 6:51PM
I don't know about you, but unless they give me a discount to scan my own groceries and bag them, I won't do it.  SCREW THAT.  If I wanted to bag groceries I would get a job at a grocery store.
Mar 20, 2013 4:39PM
This self-scanning thing at Wallyworld is confusing me.  How do they know that you scanned everything you have in your cart?  Is someone going to stand there and watch you?  Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?  Maybe a camera watches you?  But doesn't someone have to look at what the camera is seeing?
Mar 20, 2013 8:39PM
On a personal level, I don't shop at Walmart for many reasons, but I find it ridiculous as well as quite irritating when you must walk through a warehouse sized store and not have a service assistant to help you when you can't seem to find a product that you need.  It's as bad as trying to find something in a Home Depot or Lowe's store.  I don't think Walmart can find any other way of sucking another penny out a buck! 
Mar 20, 2013 7:52PM
Finally the demise of walmart, " reduced worker hours and less money spent on salaries."  Does walmart realize profits will diminish now that their best customers (employees) won't be able to buy as much. 
Mar 20, 2013 9:22PM
I for one can't afford an Iphone or Android.  I have a prepaid dumb phone.  I can see where this is leading anyway.  Walmart will be able to eliminate even more employees if you self-checkout.  Forget it.  I enjoy a little interaction with the cashiers at the stores and if I have a question about something, they will help me.  At self-checkout if you have a question, who you gonna ask?
Mar 21, 2013 12:29AM
Bring this or just the self check outs to the Walmart in Noblesville Indiana.  That way you can avoid going through check outs ran by some of the rudest people around.  
There is a small group of women from I believe India who work the check out at this location.  When you approach their line they roll their eyes, Never greet you Never smile Never ask if you found everything you needed Never say thank you and when handing you your receipt its practically tossed at you.
Not sure what these ladies problems are but they need to leave them at home or go back to India if they don't like Americans. 
Well i work at walmart i can tell you it is not to make it easier for the shopper it is to save money for the company by cutting payroll i know all about it to well is happens in my store in Humboldt,Tn all the time so the store mananger and above can fill their pockets
Mar 21, 2013 3:48AM
As a retired person working at Walmart part-time I have found this self-service idea just another stupid idea that Walmart feels obligated to try.  Their timing is miserable.  It has failed for every other company that has tried it.  Inventory losses mount and customer service plummets.  JCP, Belk and Sears are already failing badly after making the same mistakes.  Customers want personal service, low prices and availability of items they buy everyday.  Bentonville Arkansas "Walmart White House" just doesn't get it.  Hopefully they will someday start to listen to associate and customer complaints and respond accordingly.  If they don't Olympus will fall.  No company is too big to fail.
Mar 20, 2013 9:00PM
I am ashamed to admit it  but, yes, I do occasionally shop at Wallyworld.  I shop there but I don't work there so if they want the merchandise paid for and out the front door they better get someone to work the register.  It would be even nicer if they would hire someone to work the register who actually speaks English.  In case anyone in charge at Wallyworld cares, they can see why they are getting their butts kicked by visiting a COSTCO where every register is in use and where the checkers actually smile and say "thank you."
Mar 20, 2013 3:56PM
Welcome to the communist country of the United States. More control by your employer and your government. Pretty soon they will tell you when to go to bed at night. A properly rested employee is a more healthy employee.
I wasn't involved in making all the illegal immigrant children but I have to pay for all their social programs with my tax money. My property taxes are increasing almost yearly to pay for all the social programs.
We are all going to pay if we are involved or not. It is all about the money. The working class people are going to foot the bill.

Mar 20, 2013 10:20PM
Mar 20, 2013 7:19PM
Mar 20, 2013 10:50PM
How is this a benefit? Although I myself use self-checkouts now and then, why would I scan an item with my phone just to go to another stand to pay for it? Waste of my time. Its certainly not saving any time. Stupid pointless invention (from a customer's standpoint anyways). There is a grocery store where I live that has successfully competed with walmart by offering online grocery shopping, and free delivery of groceries if you have over a certain amount. Its hugely popular. That should tell you that people want more customer service more than anything.
Mar 20, 2013 9:27PM
Probable news headlines 1 year after the implementation of "Scan & Go"...
"Wal-Mart reports record losses due to thefts in 2013, but can't figure out what happened.". REALLY, how friggen stupid do you have to be? I hate to tell you this Wal-Mart, but you're relying on an "honor system", that for the most part, is nonexistent, or at the very least, BROKEN! Apparently common sense is DEAD! F.Y.I....They'll recoup their losses though. They'll just pass the losses on to the consumer....with HIGHER PRICES!

Mar 20, 2013 9:12PM
So why are you all complaining about?  If you don't like shopping at a certain place of business, then go some other place to shop.  Have a good day.
Mar 20, 2013 11:52PM

I cannot afford the iPhone or Android devices, so this system would not work for me. At local Stop and Shop grocery chains, the stores have their own scanner that customers can take with them and use in the store like the phones. They can bring it up to the cashier or the self-checkouts and are done automatically. Then just return the sacanner. All done and no iPhone or Android required!


I do feel bad that the workers would have to suffer the consequences. For some of these people, this is the job that is helping with their bills, rent, etc. I find that to be the biggest shame of the new idea.

Mar 20, 2013 11:46PM
people need blame all companies not just walmart all are GREEDY
Mar 21, 2013 2:02AM

Wal-Mart good idea I will use my Iphone to find a cheaper price then you  need to mach it who cares if the store is 100 miles away  or even on line. Thanks!!!!!! This way maybe it will be you Wal-Mart who goes under then Suppliers will not be forced be you to make your comparators pay a much higher prices for goods. We know you price fixes to drive your comparators out if business. Was it ok for me to say that? I took a sleeping pill I do not know what I’m saying. Sorry!!!         

Mar 21, 2013 9:49AM

This has to be the dumbest thing Walmart has come up with...

I use to work there and I own stock in the company...  The strange thing is, for all of their cutting wages and all of their profitablity, I'm not seeing share prices or dividends increase much.  So where is all of this profit going???   Oh, I forgot.... into the pockets of the CEO's and board of directors...

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