updated 07:46 pm EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
Test limited to Rogers, AR; no immediate plans for expansion
Wal-Mart is in the process of testing an iPhone checkout system. The technology allows shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and pay at a self-checkout counter, a procedure that could reduce checkout times and reduce associated labor costs. A Wal-Mart super center in Rogers, AR near the company's headquarters was selected for employees to participate in the test. Wal-Mart is hoping that the move could save a portion of the $12 million spent in cashier wages every second at its US stores.
"We're continually testing new and innovative ways to serve customers and enhance the shopping experience in our stores," said Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar. The test does not allow users to pay with their phones. The application transfers the customer-scanned item list to the checkout lane, and the shoppers complete the sale using the normal process.
The Wal-Mart test is limited to one store, but the company is seeking participants beyond its staff to test the technology. Employees have been asked to reach out to trusted friends and family to assist with the test.