Target to limit self-checkout to 10 items amid retail theft woes

Target to limit self-checkout to 10 items amid retail theft woes

Target will limit shoppers to 10 items at self-checkout counters amid the ongoing scourge of retail theft faced by big-box stores.

The pilot program was rolled out at select locations weeks after the discount chain shuttered nine stores in several cities — including its first ever location in Manhattan.

“In select stores we are testing self-checkout lanes of 10 items or fewer in order to reduce wait times and better understand guest preferences,” the Minnesota-based retailer told Business Insider.

The company did not say how many stores would be implementing the pilot program.

The Post has sought comment from Target.

The company didn’t say whether the pilot program was launched because of the ongoing issue with retail theft, which has threatened the safety of its workers and customers.

A Target location in East Harlem that was shuttered in late September was frequently hit by shoplifters.

Target has rolled out a pilot program limiting customers to 10 items if they pay at the self-checkout counter.
UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The company has said it expects shoplifting to be a “significant financial headwind.”

“We think progress there probably doesn’t happen quickly,” chief financial officer Michael Fiddelke said on an earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week.

Top management admitted that Target’s theft problem — known as “shrink” — continues to dog its 1,956 stores nationwide with no end in sight.

“We’re focused on progress over time,” Fiddelke added. “It’s not one that we’d expect overnight.”

“Growth in shrink remains a significant financial headwind and we’re determined to continue making progress in the years head,” Fiddelke added.

Target did not say how many stores would be implementing the pilot program.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

On the positive side, the company said shrink in the most recent quarter was “smaller than expected” and “better than we faced earlier in the year.”

Target reported a hefty third-quarter profit increase that handily beat Wall Street expectations as the retailer held down costs and cut inventory.

Revenue slipped more than 4%, however, as customers saddled with broadly higher costs pulled back on spending as the holiday season nears.

Target reported a 36% increase in third-quarter profit of $971 million, or $2.10 per share, easily beating Wall Street expectations for per-share earnings of $1.47, according to FactSet.

Target recently shuttered several stores in big cities due to rampant shoplifting.
AFP via Getty Images

Revenue fell 4.2% to $25.4 billion, but that too was better than than the $25.29 billion that industry analysts were expecting.

Its third-quarter comparable sales — those from stores or digital channels operating for the past 12 months — fell 4.9% in the most recent quarter.

Those sales fell 5.4% in the second quarter.

For the fourth quarter, Target expects comparable sales in a wide range around a mid-single digit decline, and earnings per share of $1.90 to $2.60 per share.

Analysts are expecting $2.23 per share.

Additional Reporting by Lisa Fickenscher

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