There has been a rumor floating around social media for the better part of a month that Walmart was going to start charging a subscription to use the in-store self-checkout lanes.

It has more than a few people wondering "Is that true?"

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Here's the thing, people were upset about self-checkout when it went nationwide back in 20-teens. Walmart painted it as a way to get in and out of the store faster with less waiting, and since they'd become famous for having only a handful of cashiers even during peak times, it was faster even with the learning curve.

By the time the pandemic hit in 2020, people overwhelmingly adopted it as a positive thing wanting to have a contact-less grocery experience, but the holes in that strategy became glaringly obvious really quickly. People started stealing and on a large scale.

Even with the new mandatory receipt checks at the door that seem to bother every honest person buying groceries, the headline is "Walmart will start charging $98 subscription to continue using self-checkout."

@jackmacbarstoolWhat is this reality we are living in. Walmart will be first. Target after that.♬ original sound - Jack Mac

Like most things you read and hear about online, people latch onto one detail and skip the actual story.

Here's the long and short of it... Will Walmart have self-checkout lanes specifically for Walmart+ subscribers? Yes, but they'll also continue having self-checkout lanes for free that everyone else can continue using too.

The real story everyone is "sourcing" talks about how express self-checkout lanes are being set aside for Walmart delivery drivers so they can get in and out very quickly for those Walmart+ members who are ordering online. As a bonus, W+ subscription members will be allowed to use those dedicated kiosks too.

Target is making self-checkout changes too.


For whatever reason, Target has opted to change its self-checkout practices too. Starting Sunday, March 17th, 2024, self-checkout will only be available to those with ten items or less.

If you pile a cart full in Target, you'll have to check out the old-fashioned way face-to-face with a cashier. Even though Target is considered the "premium" Walmart option, thievery and losses are still reported in shocking amounts here too.

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