Luxury accessories brand Rebecca Minkoff last week introduced a self-checkout system at its Manhattan flagship store that allows customers to buy anything in-store on their own without dealing with a sales associate. The system is a RFID security tag that attaches to all items in-store. When placed on a checkout table, the items appear on an iPad screen, allowing consumers to pay. And once they pay, consumers then place the tag onto another table, which unlocks the tag from the merchandise, and allows consumers to leave the store. If consumers leave without paying for the garment or removing the tag, an alarm will sound at the door.
Total Retail's Take: Some critics are concerned that self-checkout — most frequently used by consumers in supermarkets or drugstores — may cheapen the luxury brand. Others, however, believe the move pushes the consumer retail experience forward, bridging the gap for people used to shopping online anonymously, who might also want to shop in a retail store with a similar solo mentality. After all, studies show that millennial consumers either want to be treated like a celebrity or anonymously. Critics wonder if sales associates will lose out on commissions as a result of the self-checkout system. But Rebecca Minkoff has thought about that — associates can mark in the system if they’ve helped a customer that they didn’t actually ring up so they will get credit for helping with the sale.