Target Corporation is implementing a new security technology in its self-checkout lanes to combat rising theft incidents, Bloomberg has reported.

The system, known as TruScan, utilises cameras to detect unscanned items and alert shoppers accordingly.

TruScan will be deployed across all Target stores in 2024.

The move comes amidst a growing trend within the retail industry.

Self-checkout stations, initially lauded for their labour-saving benefits, have become a target for theft. Shoplifting methods include bypassing the scanner entirely or using incorrect barcodes to pay less. Traditional security measures such as weight sensors have not been entirely effective.

TruScan aims to address these issues by providing real-time feedback to customers. Visual and audio cues will notify shoppers of forgotten scans, potentially deterring accidental theft and expediting checkout processes.

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The system can also track repeat offenders for further intervention.

Target’s investment in self-checkout security follows its March 2024 announcement of a 10-item purchase limit at these stations.

The Minneapolis-based retailer also plans to increase employee-staffed checkout lanes.

This isn’t an isolated case. Dollar General recently reported significant inventory loss due to theft and other factors, prompting them to overhaul their self-checkout systems. 300 locations with high shrinkage rates will reportedly see self-checkouts replaced with employee-assisted lanes, and 9,000 stores will undergo similar conversions.

Kroger Co has also acknowledged an increase in organised theft at self-checkout stations. It is reportedly actively investing in anti-theft technologies to combat the growing problem.

The actions of Target and other retailers highlight a significant shift in the industry’s approach to self-checkout technology. Balancing operational efficiency with loss prevention has become a key priority.

As companies implement new security measures and potentially adjust staffing levels, the future of self-checkout remains to be seen.