Shannen Findlay

Money & Banking

The major change coming to Woolworths’ self-serve checkouts

The major change coming to Woolworths’ self-serve checkouts

Woolworths is bringing back the weight scales on self-service checkouts to cut down on the number of items being stolen by thieves.

The weighing in the bagging area along with the robotic command “unexpected item in the bagging area” was turned off a few years ago.

However, the supermarket giant is following in the footsteps of their rival Coles and turning the system back on to crack down on thieves and “scanning” mistakes.

Woolworths said the change will be happening in all stores and will help customers with incorrect scanning so they will not be overcharged.

“Self-serve check-outs are popular and the vast majority of customers have no trouble scanning the right items,” a spokesperson told

“From time to time, we see customers scan the wrong items, so we’ve turned on weigh scales to help shoppers validate the right items are going through.

“We know customers like self-serve for its speed and ease and have extra team members on deck to help keep our customers moving as we implement this new measure.”

The extra measure comes just after it was revealed both Woolworths and Coles would be trialling a new system – the use of camera technology at self-serve checkouts.

The Australian Retailers Association estimated shoplifting in the retail sector cost businesses $7.5 billion in 2014. 

With the new security measure being rolled out, many shoppers are not happy.

“If you insist on forcing people to use self-serve and self-serve with weight checks, staff them accordingly and have software that can handle the item weight checks,” one customer wrote on the Woolworths Facebook page.

“You recently added weight checking to self-serve checkout bagging areas. Please get rid of it — it’s inaccurate and drives people nuts,” another user wrote.

While the return of the weighing feature has left many customers annoyed, others have accepted the system.

“The theft on self-serve checkouts is shocking. People scanning pink lady apples through as lettuce etc...” one shopper wrote on a social media post.

“I’ve heard plenty of stories from my local Woolies. Unfortunately, they have to bring these new security measures in now because of the dishonesty of a few.”