Target To Place Limits On Self-Checkout Items

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Target announced that they will place limits on self-checkout items at select stores, according to Business Insider.

The retailer said on Wednesday that it would enact the pilot program on the heels of closing nine stores in several cities due to retail theft, though the retailer did not confirm whether the rise in crime had a role to play in the pilot program, Business Insider reported.

“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,” Target told Business Insider. (RELATED: Here’s Why America’s Biggest Companies Are Fleeing Blue States)

Target has signaled that shoplifting will continue to prove a “significant financial headwind,” the New York Post reported.

“We think progress there probably doesn’t happen quickly,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke claimed on an earnings call last week, according to New York Post. He added that he hopes the problem will improve, but that he thinks it will take time. “We’re focused on progress over time,” he said. “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,” he added, the outlet noted.”Shrink” refers to product lost via theft.

Though theft continues to be an issue for the retailer, he noted that in the recent quarter it was “smaller than expected” and “better than we faced earlier in the year,” the NY Post reported.

Retail stores in blue cities have experienced a surge in shoplifting over the past year. Mounting theft has sparked an avalanche of store closures in liberal cities, with companies citing profit losses and safety concerns. Target announced in September that it would shutter stores in blue cities such as Portland and Seattle as a result of theft.