America's Best Grocery Chain Is Ending This Convenient Service After Experiencing "Losses"
America's #1 grocery store may have a few unhappy customers soon, thanks to its decision to end a service many shoppers found useful, especially during the pandemic.
Wegmans, which has over 100 locations along the East Coast, is known for exceptional customer service and bulk selections on the same level as Costco. But the chain notified shoppers via email this week that it will soon be discontinuing its in-store scan-and-go mobile app, an innovative way to check out that helped them skip lines and cut down on time spent at the store.
First launched in 2020, the Wegmans SCAN app enabled customers to scan barcodes on their smartphone while shopping, facilitating a seamless self-checkout experience at the end of their visit. It was a popular perk, and many Wegmans customers have publicly expressed frustration over the announcement that the app will be defunct as of Sunday, September 18.
So what gives? According to the email sent out by Wegmans, the grocery chain is experiencing too many "losses" in connection to the SCAN app.
"Early in the pandemic, we quickly rolled out our SCAN app to provide a contact-less in-store shopping option. SCAN users have told us they love the app and the convenience it offers. We love it too and have tried many adjustments to keep it. Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state," CEO Colleen Wegman wrote in the email.
That explanation is more than a little vague, but the company has declined to provide further details. When asked to clarify, a Wegmans spokesperson added, "We've made the decision to turn off the app until we can make improvements that will meet the needs of our customers and business."
That doesn't mean Wegmans is totally done with mobile apps and innovative ways to shop. The original email sent to SCAN app users mentions that the chain "will continue to introduce new digital solutions to streamline your shopping experience for the future."
And users of the SCAN app won't walk away completely empty-handed on Sunday—they'll each receive a $20 coupon on their Shoppers Club accounts.
Scan-and-go technology is certainly convenient for shoppers, but it can also cause headaches for retailers. Apps like the one discontinued by Wegmans have been linked to increased rates of theft and missing inventory at other stores and chains utilizing such technology.
For example, Walmart had to pause its scan-and-go program over theft concerns back in 2018, according to one former executive. Since then the company has reintroduced mobile scan-and-go for Walmart+ customers.