So I walk into Home Depot

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Forum topic by muleskinner posted 10-25-2011 08:42 PM 1434 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2431 days

10-25-2011 08:42 PM

So I walk into Home Depot this morning. I picked up a cord end, a packet of #6×2” screws and a can of WD40. Go to the front of the store and there is one check stand open with a line of 4 people. Only one of us has any amount of purchases. The rest just a hand full of items. As we stand there, another employee comes down the line with a hand held scanner and scans my items as I hold them. She swipes a card through the scanner and hands me the card.
“What’s this all about?” I ask.
“Oh, just hand her the card when you get to the check stand. It will speed up checkout” she says.
“As opposed to opening another check stand?” I ask as I look down a seemingly endless row of idle check stands.

-- Visualize whirled peas

9 replies so far

View pariswoodworking's profile


386 posts in 2479 days

#1 posted 10-25-2011 08:46 PM

I hate it when they only have one check out open. It’s not too big of a problem at my local HD though, it is never busy and there are usually more employees than customers. :)

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View flippedcracker's profile


91 posts in 2448 days

#2 posted 10-25-2011 08:48 PM

some times it makes more sense to do that, especially if people don’t have much. not all registers are ready to go (with a money drawer stocked), or they are stocked but locked to a certain cashier. If I was a cashier, I wouldn’t want someone else on my stand because any discrepancies would be on me, not the person who borrowed it.So there are more factors to consider than just there being unused check stands.

My local HD has self serve check stands, so I just use those.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 10-25-2011 09:45 PM

That happened to me yesterday. I had a 10’ 2×6 and a tube of PL1. When I got to the contractor checkout line, the guy scanned my items while I was waiting for one of the cashiers to open up.

It was late morning and kinda slow, so I asked what that was about. He told me that separating the scanning from the paying really speeds up the morning rush. They can walk down the checkout line and scan the carts before customers gets to the the cashier. When you get there, all you have to do is pay the bill and head for the pickup.

I know that waiting in the early morning contractor lines (and wondering if some line jumper is gonna get a butt whuppin) is a real pain. This should help a lot.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Cliff De Witt 's profile

Cliff De Witt

130 posts in 2687 days

#4 posted 10-25-2011 11:32 PM

One less employee to have to pay at a time when the store may not be very busy.

My HD has one lane open for Pro Card holders only and one lane for everyone else and, of course, the self service check out. I have been there when there are two or three Pro Card only lanes and still only one for everyone else.

-- Trying to find an answer to my son’s question: “…and forming organic cellulose by spinning it on its axis is interesting, why?”

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2837 days

#5 posted 10-26-2011 05:55 AM

My gripe with the local HD here is those %^&$ self checkouts. They have a cashier standing in the center at her little register watching four self checkouts. Those things are fine if all you have is small items. However, when you’re checking out five eight foot 2×4s, three 2×4’ sheets of luan ply, and about twenty various little hardware items like hinges, screws, and knobs, and that checkout girl watches you struggle to get that dab-blasted computer to understand that you can’t place large items in the checkout area so it will move on to the next item and she doesn’t give a crap to help or just ring you up herself to speed things along….........Yea, those things are a weeeee bit aggrevating.


View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2682 days

#6 posted 10-26-2011 06:20 AM

This process has been studied allot actually. It has been proven to be faster. Think of it this way: there are three lines in a store and you can choose from all of them. You see in lane 1 the person has allot of items. Lane 2 has 3 people with medium items. Lane 3 has five people with a bunch of little items. If the cashiers all operate at the same pace, and all the lanes have the same amount of items total, it all falls on how fast the customer can process the checkout. If some one is in the low item per person lane but can’t find the money, people are held up by the one person. What these studies have found is that if the person chooses any of the lines, some times they will check out faster than other days, and slower on the other days. In the end it is a wash and there is no real gain.

With the airport style or similar to HD, the person that arrives first to the bank gets directed to the next open spot. This means that all the spots are filled, but if there is a hold up, then the waiting line isn’t affected, it just moves away from the blocked area. Call centers use this all the time without the caller even knowing it. The catch of this is, just like in a call center, if there aren’t enough people to process the flow, holdups will still happen. The study concluded that it was easier to clear holdups with the airport or HD style than it is to clear up the supermarket style hold up. In the end, less people are hindered.

With the person taking payment not having to scan products and only take payments, they can keep from wasting time moving from the station and not focusing on taking the money. This is the same for the person scanning the items. The person scanning can keep the line moving even if there is a small hold up with a person’s payment. This is done in manufacturing all the time as time studies. Also known as Lean Manufacturing, Lead times, kanbans, and about 50 other terms for the same concept.

Oh and William, I totally agree about those stupid things. If I am over 18 and want to get a can of spray paint, I have to wait for the person to see that I am over 18 and hit the key. What then is the point of checking myself out if I still need human interaction when purchasing only a few items?

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2775 days

#7 posted 10-26-2011 02:57 PM

Funny.. I’ve seen news stories of late about supermarkets getting rid of the self serve checkouts.
not efficient, they have to staff them anyway and too many screwups.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3286 days

#8 posted 10-28-2011 03:07 AM

You can’t buy spraypaint if you’re under 18???

What if you need it for your model rocket or pinewood car???!!!

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3888 days

#9 posted 10-28-2011 03:23 AM

When they direct me to the “Self Check Out” Isle I always ask if I get a discount for doing the work and try and let them know…………thats their job they are trying to get rid of

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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