My local Home Depot store completely renovated their checkout area, moving all of their registers around.
I couldn’t tell how many of the registers were now designated for self-checkout, but there were several cashiers assisting customers, about the same number as before.
Up until recently, my Home Depot store had rows of checkout aisles, with some registers manned by cashiers and most being supervised self-checkout machines. There were always a cashier or two managing the line and assisting the self-checkout area.
After the initial COVID pandemic closures two years ago, big box retailers set up roped-off areas where customers could stand in a single line, with social distance markers on the floor reminding everyone to stand 6 feet apart.
It could sometimes be cramped to wait in the single line, as the main aisle – the “race track” – was designed for two-way traffic around promotional displays. Moving around the displays, and sometimes wood pallets, was a minor but persistent hinderance.
Single-line checkout isn’t a new concept – my local Best Buy store has done this for years now – but it seemed to work for stores such as Home Depot, Target, and Walmart.
I won’t know for certain until I head to my Home Depot when it’s much busier, but the entire checkout area felt less cramped.
The snack display made me hungry, and in my opinion will surely sell better than they did before.
On this occasion I wasn’t buying anything, as I had only went in to see if there were any new promotions, and I didn’t like that I could only exit via a single choke point. Before, I could walk through any checkout aisle to get to the exit.
This new checkout pathway design might help speed things up and also potentially reduce shoplifting, but it increases the hassle for customers leaving the store empty-handed.
I suppose that I can leave through the entrance or pro exit. But, I already know that my holiday season deal-scouting, when I research seasonal promos for ToolGuyd and my personal purchases, is going to bug me a bit.
If I’m buying something, this new setup might help get me out of the store faster. If I’m not buying something, the single checkout choke point could slow me down.
Have your Home Depot stores renovated their checkout areas in a similar manner?