California’s New Plan To Ban What From Grocery Stores?

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

( – In California, a new bill, Senate Bill 1446, is looking to ban self-checkout options for some retailers and grocery stores as a way of addressing the high theft rates. 

The bill would block the establishments from offering self-service checkout until specific conditions are met. As part of these conditions, it is noted that a single employee could not monitor more than two self-service checkout stations at any time. The employee in question would also be relieved from any other duties apart from monitoring the self-checkout lines. 

Grocery stores and retailers would also be required to assess the possible impact of using artificial intelligence or other technologies that eliminate jobs for employees. 

Democratic state Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, who is behind the bill, argued that self-checkout machines led to 16 more losses when compared to cashier check-outs. There are, as she pointed out, around $10 billion in losses that are attributed to the self-checkout counters according to Smallwood-Cuevas. 

However, the bill is not just focused on theft, but also on keeping employees safe. She added that self-checkout becoming more common has meant that lone workers have been turned to easier violence and theft targets and that they are forced to take care of their checkout duties while also monitoring the store for retail theft. 

This is not the first time that the idea of cutting down on self-checkout machines has been introduced. Last month, Walmart announced that it would be scaling back its machines in some of the stores as a means of fighting theft. 

Five Below took a similar step across its more than 1,500 locations in order to reduce theft.

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