For Costco shoppers in a hurry — or for those who just don't want to bother busy employees — Costco is rolling out a new feature in select stores to make shoppers' lives a little easier. In tandem with Costco's new in-app barcode scanner, the wholesale retailer is installing in-store price scanners.
Some people on social media have pointed out new price scanners at the front of their local stores just before the registers, giving customers the power to check items' prices for themselves. This feature isn't new everywhere, though — some locations have had them for years, as certain states have laws dictating price scanners' availability. Massachusetts, for example, requires one scanner located at the front of a store and an additional scanner elsewhere in stores above 20,000 square feet to avoid fines for individual items that are improperly labeled.
Previously, receiving a price check on a Costco item was a bit of an ordeal. Costco employees commenting on a 2022 Reddit thread stated that most middle-section floor employees don't have an easy way to look up items' prices because doing so requires a computer. A Costco manager in the thread mentioned they could look the information up on a handheld unit, but the process was somewhat annoying, as it often required exiting out of whatever task they were already doing. Customer-accessible scanners offer autonomy to shoppers — and fewer interruptions for staff.
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What's The Appeal Of In-Store Price Scanners?
According to some Instagram comments from Costco staff, customers often ask employees for price checks, and scanners save them from interruption. One user also commented that marked-down prices aren't always properly updated on signage, so they'll sometimes price-check all of their items to see if they're getting a deal.
In large stores like Costco, items also end up abandoned in random aisles. Most of the warehouses are about 160,000 square feet, except for the world's smallest Costco, which clocks in at a mere 76,696 square feet. Without intimate knowledge of exactly where an item came from, a customer can use the price scanner to save some steps trying to find the posted price.
The trouble with the scanner is its accessibility. It's a static box on the wall that customers must hold items up to; there's no detachable hand scanner, and the reader is well above cart level. As one Instagram commenter noted, "Sure [it's] cool, til you have to lift that ish back out of the cart when you know it took jesus and all 12 of his disciples to get it in there, but okay Costco, [y'all] have fun!" Hopefully, the new app updates will cover this need, and installed scanners will merely be a backup. Until these updates are rolled out, though, the scanners are exciting news for shoppers who, as one commenter said, have "been DREAMING of this."
Read the original article on Daily Meal.