Does Trader Joe’s Have Self-Checkout? (Is Cashierless Technology In?)

The checkout line is not only the end of any shopping trip, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of it. Because, the exit can make or break the shopping experience regardless of how easy or difficult it was to find everything we needed in the store.

The cashiers at Trader Joe’s have a reputation for being exceptionally pleasant. While we all appreciate it, we can’t help but wonder if they’d cut staff for self-checkout counters or keep the happy and chatty cashiers.

Does Trader Joe’s have self-checkout? What prevents them from adapting to one if they don’t already have one? This article will tell you everything you need to know.

Does Trader Joe’s Have Self-Checkout in 2023?


Self-checkout is not available at Trader Joe’s. Unlike many of its biggest competitors, from Walmart to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s isn’t dabbling in supermarket self-checkout registers, despite the demands of some of Trader Joe’s most ardent followers.

Why? The focus is still on Trader Joe’s personnel.

“The bottom line here is that our people remain our most valued resource,” Trader Joe’s marketing director Tara Miller said. “While other retailers were cutting staff and adding things like self-checkout, curbside pickup, and outsourcing delivery options, we were hiring more crew, and we continue to do that.”

It is also worth mentioning that Costco, another large supermarket chain, has backed off on self-checkout lines by having personnel with scanners intervene to help customers speed up the process.

This reversal began in the early days of the pandemic and is still in effect at most, if not all, Costco warehouse shops today.

How Does Checkout Work At Trader Joe’s?

The Layout

Unlike most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s has a unique checkout line. There are no divisions nor a conveyor belt. Customers do not handle their own groceries at all. Rather, Trader Joe’s registers have two areas: one for setting groceries and the other for bagging them.

At the checkout counter, the employee is on their feet and moves around.

The Process

The Trader Joe’s checkout process is a little different – more white-glove treatment if you will. Customers, as previously said, do not touch their own groceries in any way.

Instead, Trader Joe’s removes the groceries from the cart (while wearing gloves), places them on the register, bags them, and replaces the pack in the cart. The cashier then provides the customer with the receipt, leaving the consumer with nothing left to do but go.

The Interaction

trader joes cashier

Each cashier is unique. Some people are chatty, while others are not. That goes for most supermarkets as well as Trader Joe’s.

The cashiers at Trader Joe’s function on a distinct social level. Employees at the store have a reputation for being socially trained. Trader Joe’s employees aren’t always friendly, but they are among of the most talkative people you’ll ever meet. Whether or not this is your cup of tea depends on how friendly you are on that particular day.

The Speed

Trader Joe’s isn’t quite as focused on speed, but it’s clear that it’s in their DNA. Trader Joe’s employees work quickly and efficiently. They also appear to stretch their workforce, as seen by cashiers appearing to alleviate queue congestion.

Furthermore, there have been instances where a second employee arrives at your lane to assist the first in bagging the items. Keep in mind that all of this happens while the Trader Joe’s cashier is having the previously mentioned chat.

How Do You Pay at Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s accepts the following forms of payment:


Trader Joe’s only issues and accepts physical gift cards in their physical stores. Their gift cards are not available in printable or digital formats, and they do not take them like that. They chose this strategy to protect the gift card’s original purchaser or recipient better.

Can You Use Your Own Bags at Trader Joe’s?

It is both healthy for the environment and excellent for your wallet to bring your own bags to the grocery store. Those who bring their own alcohol to Trader Joe’s can enter a raffle for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the store. Weekly drawings are held, so the more you shop, the more chances you have to win.

There is one major caveat: due to Covid, Trader Joe’s temporarily halted the usage of reusable bags. Customers are welcome to bring their own. However, they will not be permitted to enter the bagging area.

There’s no indication on when Trader Joe’s will revive this program, but it is most likely in the works.

Will Trader Joe’s Charge for Paper Bags?

trader joes bag

Trader Joe’s has not only banned customers from bringing their own reusable bags to stores across the country, but it has also waived any imposed costs for single-use bags, including California’s requirement that retailers charge for bags provided by them.

According to most supermarkets, customers’ reusable bags may introduce the coronavirus to stores, personnel, and other customers.

California voters enacted a ban on single-use bags in 2016, which primarily targets plastic bags. However, it mandates a minimum payment of ten cents for bags made of recycled paper, which Trader Joe’s is currently providing to customers for free.


You can’t please everyone, but Trader Joe’s checkout is significantly superior to that of most other stores. No insult to Walmart or Target employees, but Trader Joe’s has a level of service that you won’t find anywhere else.

You can appreciate not having self-checkout counters because of the raw speed and efficiency of the checkout procedure, as well as the sociability and premium treatment that Trader Joe’s provides to its customers.

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