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Target is copying Walmart and eliminating the most dreaded part of holiday shopping

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/1/2018 Hayley Peterson
a group of people standing in front of a store© Adam Hunger/AP Images for Target

  • Target employees across the United States will be able to use mobile devices to process shoppers' payments starting Thursday.
  • The new service, called Skip-the-Line, is designed to help customers avoid one of the biggest frustrations with shopping in stores over the holidays: busy checkout lines.
  • Walmart said Tuesday that it's rolling out a similar service at its US stores.

Target shoppers might be able to avoid long checkout lines this holiday season, thanks to a new service.

Starting Thursday, the retailer's employees can use mobile devices to complete shoppers' checkout process from anywhere in its stores, the company said.

This means shoppers might never have to visit a register to complete their Target purchases.

Target announced the new service, which it's calling "Skip-the-Line," two days after Walmart announced it would roll out its own version of mobile checkout to Walmart supercenters nationwide by Black Friday.

Both stores said mobile-checkout employees would be stationed in the busiest parts of their stores, such as the electronics department, during peak holiday shopping hours.

The back-to-back announcements from Walmart and Target highlight the "importance and growing popularity of mobile point-of-sale technology in stores," said Michael Jaszczyk, CEO of GK Software USA. "Checkout lines are a huge pain point for both customers and retailers, especially during Black Friday and the busy holiday season."

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