Marshalls Shoppers Threaten Boycott Over Checkout: "Get Your Lines in Control"
Frustrated customers are asking the retailer to install self-checkout kiosks at stores.
While self-checkout continues to dominate the supermarket industry—96 percent of grocery stores offer self-service lanes, per The Food Industry Association—there are still plenty of retailers who haven't yet given in to the technology. And despite plenty of pushback from customers who avoid self-checkout kiosks at all costs, many shoppers are eager to take scanning and bagging into their own hands. That's especially true at Marshalls, where customers say the long lines have gotten out of control.
Self-checkout is somewhat contentious, though it certainly has plenty of fans. In 2021, smart customer analytics and experience platform Raydiant asked 1,000 American consumers about their self-checkout experiences and habits. Eighty-five percent of surveyed participants said self-service kiosks are faster than manned registers, and if given the option, 60 percent would rather scan their own items and self-pay rather than speak with a store employee.
Those opinions may have shifted in the past few years, with the proliferation of self-checkout earning it more critics. But Marshalls is one of several retail stores feeling pressure from consumers to install self-checkout lanes. In recent months, frustrated shoppers have called out the department store for failing to get its "lines in control," and have even threatened a potential boycott on social media.
In a message posted to X, one defeated customer claimed the lines were such a problem that they had to leave the premises immediately.
"@marshalls third time I have walked out of your stores because you can't get your lines in control- not even a self checkout lane or person. Last time I attempt to buy anything at your store," they wrote.
Another shared a snapshot of a super-long checkout line, which snaked throughout half of the store.
"Why … is the @marshalls checkout line wrapped around the men's section to the back bath section?!" they commented, noting that one of Marshalls' competitors is already aboard the self-checkout bandwagon.
"Compared to no line at Ross who is using self-checkout?"
In a separate post, a Marshalls shopper went as far as to say that finding something you like is "such bad luck" due to the store's cramped checkout.
While some customers believe that installing self-service kiosks would improve the flow of foot traffic in the checkout area, others are pleading for Marshalls to at least open more manned registers, especially during busier times of the day when lines may be exorbitantly long.
"Perhaps some of your associates or the store manager should open another register when you have line all the way down and on the floor. One register isn't working," a shopper commented.
Another said it's "nuts" to only have two open registers when there's a crowd of people waiting to checkout and other store personnel nearby.
"How do you have a manager and a 'customer experience coordinator' on duty, yet I'm standing in a line approx 30 people deep and only 2 people are working the register.. this is nuts," they said.
The fury surrounding Marshalls' long checkout lines comes as many retailers are re-assessing their own relationship with self-service machines. Recently, both Walmart and Target were slammed for having item restrictions at self-checkout, and unbearable wait times of their own.