Target rolling out new security tech at self-checkout to catch repeat ‘skip-scanners’

TARGET is reportedly set to add new anti-theft technology to self-checkout as it works to innovate against the issue of skip-scanning.

The new anti-theft tech, TruScan, detects unscanned items via cameras and then alerts customers through audio and visuals.

Target wants to stop ‘skip-scanners’ with a new technology called TruScanCredit: Getty
The retailer is reportedly set to add the new tech to all of its stores in 2024Credit: Getty

Target plans to add TruScan tech to all of its stores in 2024, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News.

TruScan is intended to be an extra layer of security on top of weight sensors and alerts that let employees know of errors, two measures that are already used to prevent theft.

It was tested at some stores before the retailer decided to roll it out nationwide.

Target hopes the new tech can also help it trace customers “who repeatedly fail to scan their items even after being prompted,” Bloomberg reported.

The new anti-theft measure comes as the retailer has been vocal about growing issues with theft.

The U.S. Sun contacted Target for comment on the new technology. 


In September 2023, Target announced it was forced to close nine stores due to ongoing theft.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests,” Target said in a press release at the time. 

“And contributing to unsustainable business performance.”

Target noted it tried to up its anti-theft measures in these stores before going through with the decision to shut them down. 

“Before making this decision, we invested heavily in strategies to prevent and stop theft and organized retail crime in our stores,” Target wrote.

‘It’s not enough,’ admits frustrated store owner over drastic anti-theft measure – but he got $1,000 in goods returned_NBC News

“Such as adding more security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business. 

“Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully.”


Target also said at the time that it would continue to make efforts toward reducing crime at its open stores. 

Additional efforts include hiring more security guards, locking up items, and training employees on how to prevent theft.

Target said it would be making multiple changes to security technology as well.

This includes investing in cyber defense and partnering with the US Department of Homeland Security.

Latest self-checkout changes

How retailers are tweaking their self-checkout formula

Walmart shoppers were shocked when self-checkout lanes at various locations were made available only for Walmart+ members.

Other customers reported that self-checkout was closed during specific hours, and more cashiers were offered instead.

While shoppers feared that shoplifting fueled the updates, a Walmart spokesperson revealed that store managers are simply experimenting with ways to improve checkout performance.

One bizarre experiment included an RFID-powered self-checkout kiosk that would stop the fiercely contested receipt checks.

However, that test run has been phased out.

At Target, items are being limited at self-checkout.

Last fall, the brand surveyed new express self-checkout lanes across 200 stores with 10 items or less for more convenience.

As of March 2024, this policy has been expanded across 2,000 stores in the US.

Target also said it would use a combination of advanced threat intelligence to track organized crime, develop customs tools to detect criminal activity and use new data alerts for fraudulent activity. 

However, the retailer has seen some backlash over the increase in anti-theft measures at Target. 

One new initiative includes closing self-checkout at certain hours and limiting the number of items that can be rung up at each stall.

Most Target locations are open from 7 am or 8 am until 10 pm but shoppers found that self-checkout at their stores was only open from around 10 am or 11 am until 8 pm.

The retailer has also limited some self-checkout machines to 10 items or less.

Target isn’t the only retailer grappling with theft at self-checkout.

Walmart announced last week that it would shut down all self-checkout at a store in Ohio.

This is following a similar move in its stores in New Mexico.

“We continually look at ways to provide our customers with the best shopping experience and that includes adjusting the checkout area in stores,” Walmart spokesperson Josh Havens said at the time.

Giant retailers have been trying to combat theft for years but it’s still a big problem headed into mid-2024.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in 2022, “Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been.

“If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close.”


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