Not sure “de-automation” is a word, but why not…

My local Jewel grocery store (owned by Albertsons) just removed all its customer self-checkout stations and replaced them with mini checkout stands staffed by real people. Given all the “robots will soon replace us all” buzz in the air, this move seems noteworthy.

As a consumer, I couldn’t be happier. I hated checking myself out – it was stressful and I constantly felt like a small-time criminal (“Unexpected item in bagging area!”). I avoided them whenever possible.

It turns out that Jewel has been phasing out the self-check stations since 2013, citing better security and a desire to improve customer service. My location just happened to get around to it. Congrats to the chain for making a good business decision and to the United Food & Commercial Workers union, which represents many Jewel workers.