We're used to this sort of thing at Hannaford's or Walmart...

I remember when self-checkouts became more and more of a thing. Heck, I remember when there was no such thing at all. And when they came out, there seemed to be much rejoicing. Many folks seemed thrilled to have some amount of control over their shopping/checkout destiny.

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However, over the years, it's become a much more controversial issue, with some major retail chains like Target and Walmart taking steps to move away from it. But one place I never, ever saw one until this year, was a self-checkout in a convenience store. I recently saw one in a Circle K, and a Big Apple store as well.

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Are they costing people jobs?

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The first time I saw one at the Circle K, just a few weeks back, I could hardly believe my eyes. Never, had I ever thought that I'd be ringing up my own stuff. But I rang up my own coffee, and even a little brekkie sando because I was starved and in a hurry. Even better, I was outta there in a minute. Which was a welcome surprise as the guy in front of me started rage-buying lottery tickets.

Photo of a smiling business woman in the car drinking coffee.
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The next time I happened to be cruising through, I did ask the clerk if they thought it would eliminate any jobs. He said absolutely not. In fact, he said it took some of the pressure off, because most of the time they were understaffed. But he felt it was a great service to people who just had super quick purchases, who didn't want to wait.

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Are they going to be everywhere?

Hard to say. There may not even be a way to tell who has them and who doesn't. And it's possible a ton of places have had them for a while, and I just hadn't seen them yet. Someone reading this may already frequent a store that's way ahead of the times compared to where I shop.

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But as a person who lacks the patience of a normal person, I'm actually glad for this option. And who knows, maybe they'll end up like the big box stores and eventually get rid of them. Anytime you try to add tech, people find a way to abuse it. So only time will tell how the convenience store self-checkouts do...

Circle K and Big Apple both have pretty unique logos...

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