When you're out looking for some groceries, you want to get in and out as fast as possible, so you'll go where you know you can sneak in, grab what you need, and check out with no time at all.

Target is trying to speed up their checkout process, and that's why they've implemented a new rule for their shoppers.

Changes Made Already

A recent Reddit post from a Target employee claimed a drastic reduction in self-checkout (SCO) hours at their store. The user stated, “We’re open 8-10 normally but I just got told that our SCO will now only be operating 10-6:30.”

Another Reddit user in the same thread noted a similar situation, with self-checkout hours shrinking and a decrease in the number of available cashiers. "Ours are open 11-7 now. We're supposed to have two cashiers until 11. We have one," explained the user.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Why Did Target Stores Changing Self-Checkout Hours?

Within the discussion, another Target employee suggested that the reduced checkout hours were implemented to combat retail theft. The user stated, "Was told, it’s every store and it’s to prevent people/employees from stealing, and if we were to use them then we can get fired if we used them after 8 pm est."

While a Target spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied a permanent reduction in self-checkout hours, they did mention that "select stores" are undergoing various tests. The spokesperson explained in an emailed statement to TheStreet, "In select stores, we are piloting a number of tests to determine their impact on the overall guest experience. These tests vary by location."

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cashier Lines Becoming Insanely Long

The news of Target's scaled-back self-checkout hours coincides with online criticism from customers regarding extended cashier checkout lines. A viral tweet on Feb. 13 displayed a photo of a lengthy line at a Target store in Virginia with only one cashier on duty, garnering over 26.9 million views. Commenters on the tweet cited closed self-checkout lanes as contributing to the issue.

Additionally, Target employees are reportedly being encouraged to distribute guests evenly between self-checkout and regular cashier checkout lanes due to a new policy.\

The New Rule Change

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The retail corporation announced Thursday in a press release that their regular self-checkout areas will become express self-checkout. The new concept will speed up lines drastically by getting those shoppers with 10 items or less through the checkout and on their way.

Target said they tested the program at 200 stores last fall, and found they and customers were happy with the results.

"We did see a reduction of theft in our test stores, but the program wasn’t directed in targeting theft even though we did see it was reduced," the company told Good Morning America.

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