Mar 9, 2023 - Business

Citizen group to monitor Hy-Vee's self-check kiosks

These kiosks are the primary checkout option at the downtown DSM Hy-Vee. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

A Des Moines citizens watch group is being formed to monitor Hy-Vee's self-checkout kiosks.

Why it matters: The technology can be frustrating for some people, yet it has become the primary checkout option at some stores servicing neighborhoods without other grocery stores, group organizer Joe Henry tells Axios.

Catch up fast: Hy-Vee introduced self-checkout lanes in 2017 before switching primarily to them at multiple metro locations in 2020.

  • A "scan and go" option allowing customers to use their phones to scan items was introduced in 2021 but disabled last month, the Des Moines Register reports.

The latest: Henry noted on social media last month that he witnessed only one cashier for a long line of customers at the Hy-Vee on Fleur Drive.

  • After receiving hundreds of responses, many expressing service frustrations, he requested a meeting with Hy-Vee management and invited others to join him.

State of play: Store leaders met with Henry and his group last week and agreed to ensure cashiers were available, Henry tells us.

  • Now he's asking southside DSM neighbors to help him continue to monitor area stores.

The other side: Hy-Vee spokesperson Tina Potthoff tells Axios that they still employ cashiers and that the number of checkout lanes open at one moment can be dictated by schedules and the need for additional assistance.

The big picture: Self-checkouts are now widely used among some of the nation's largest retailers, but haven't lived up to everyone's expectations.

Of note: Henry reports there have been more cashiers at the Fleur Hy-Vee following his initial complaints.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more