Kmart trials new checkout location at Eastland store in Melbourne

Shoppers at one Kmart location will experience a change that could signal the end of its divisive floorplan.

As part of a “test and learn” trial at the retailer’s Eastland store in Melbourne, cash registers will be moved from its centre to its exit.

A Kmart spokesperson confirmed the adjustment to news.com.au, sharing that the branch – which is currently under renovation – will be subject to “a range of new store elements over the next year or so”.

“As a business, we are always looking for ways to make our customer experience better, so trying out new things is just part of what we do,” they said.

“As always, we have a number of trials taking place involving lots of new ideas so we can see what our customers think. As these are rolled out, we look forward to hearing our customers feedback, so we can continue to adapt and improve.”

There are no plans as of yet to implement the change at other stores across the country.

It comes after shoppers earlier this year slammed the unusual format, rolled out a decade ago, accusing Kmart of treating “every shopper like a shoplifter” by inspecting their bags when they leave the store.

“Dear Kmart Australia, why put the checkout area in the middle of the store if you’re going to treat every shopper like a shoplifter on the way out?” one disgruntled social media user asked.

“Instead of treating all your customers like criminals, there are a few things that you can do to change this,” another wrote, before suggesting the checkouts be moved, self-serve registers be ditched, and to have more staff rostered on.

At the time, a Kmart spokesperson told news.com.au the checkout decision was “made several years ago … to make shopping more convenient, ensuring store entrances are free of queues and clutter, and allowing customers to enter and exit with ease”.

“This current layout is more open and more spacious without having the registers up at the front of the store, which can get congested during busy times of the year like Christmas,” they added.

“Like many retailers it is also a condition of entry across all our stores that if requested, customers present any bags and receipt for checking before leaving the store.

“This is standard procedure that occurs regardless of how a customer makes their purchase, whether it be from our service desk, self-service checkouts or if they have been assisted by a team member. We look forward to continuing to service all our customers in the many different ways they like to shop.”

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