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Walmart Rolls Out Major Changes For Customers. What to Know

A woman is seen here scanning items at a self-service checkout in a Walmart megastore in North Carolina. Credit - Lindsey Nicholson—Getty Images

Two more Walmart stores—one in St. Louis, Missouri, and one in Cleveland, Ohio—are getting rid of their self-checkout machines, according to a statement shared with Business Insider. The self-checkout machines will reportedly be removed after hours and the process will be completed within two weeks.

"We believe the change will improve the in-store shopping experience and give our associates the chance to provide more personalized and efficient service," Walmart spokesperson Brian Little told Insider.

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TIME has reached out to Walmart for comment and further information.

The news comes after Walmart made a similar change to three New Mexico stores last year, removing all self-checkout machines. Other stores, including Target, Dollar General, and FiveBelow have also said that they are scaling back their reliance on self-checkout services in recent months. Dollar General announced that it would remove the self-checkout option from 300 stores while FiveBelow is opting for a hybrid checkout whereby staff manually scan the items for customers at the self-checkout machines. Target is implementing a new rule that only allows you to use self-checkout if you are purchasing 10 items or less.

Self-checkout on average appears to have a significantly higher rate of theft, with one study by a shopping startup called Grabango suggesting that shoppers are 21 times more likely to sneak a stolen item past a machine than from a human checkout.

It’s especially common for shoppers to purchase some items while shoplifting other items during self-checkout, causing retailers to have large amounts of inventory that is unaccounted for, referred to as “shrink.” Some shrink may even be unintentional. Approximately one in five shoppers say they accidentally took an item from self-checkout without paying for it, according to a survey from LendingTree.

Contact us at letters@time.com.