Some experts say it may not be that people prefer the live clerks as much as they want to avoid using imperfect and still frustrating technology at automated checkout stands.
Economics professor Steve Tadelis at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business says once the kinks and wrinkles are out most people will adopt.
But some locally owned and operated stores like Lunardi's are betting on people interaction. Assistant general manager Mark Johnson says, "It's what keeps us alive, service. Service is the name of the game. I don't want to go into a grocery store and write down codes and weigh it on a per pound system I just don't want to do it."
Target recently upgraded software in self-checkout lines and they said guest satisfaction scores spiked up. But what really lies ahead is what is being tested by Amazon go at their prototype market in Seattle. You pick up items and are charged via a smartphone app as you exit the store. No checkout lines. No registers.
"The real efficiency is you walk in, take what you want and walk out," Tadelis added.