‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
Monday, Oct. 23, 2023
Good morning to you!

What do you think of self-checkout kiosks at retail stores? More than likely, you either love them or hate them. Few are in between.

The Atlantic published an article recently called “Self-Checkout Is a Failed Experiment” and detailed the problems with this technology and why some retailers are ready to scrap it.

The self-checkout concept made great sense to me at first, as I am one who becomes annoyed while waiting in lines. If I can scan my own items, pay for them and get out the door a few minutes faster, then I am all for it. But, as most of us know, that’s not how these scenarios typically play out. More often than not, a store employee comes over to the self-checkout kiosk to address something that went wrong. The kiosks seem to malfunction more than the ice cream machines at McDonald’s, which makes me wonder, how is this helping anyone? Well, there are a few ways, apparently.

According to one survey, 66% of consumers say they prefer self-service over interacting with a store employee. Why? Because, like me, they think it is faster. Of course, if 66% of customers like self-checkout, that means 34% do not. That’s one-third of customers who are clearly annoyed by the technology.

Retailers apparently like these self-service options because of space and personnel reasons. Some claim as many as six self-checkout kiosks can fit in the space that is needed for one traditional cashier system. Retailers also thought they could operate with fewer employees, as one employee can oversee several self-checkout kiosks.

Meanwhile, the up-front costs to install self-service systems are significantly higher than standard cashier lanes. That may work for the mega-retailers that can justify the investment, but it can be cost prohibitive for smaller stores.

The elephant in the room, though, is theft. A recent study examined 12 million shopping trips over two years. Of them, 1 million trips were audited, accounting for 6 million items, according to The New York Times. The study found that 850,000 of those items were never scanned, and this accounted for 4% of the total merchandise value. For stores that operate on low single-digit profit margins, that’s concerning. And if you can’t turn a profit, you won’t be in business for long, with or without self-checkout kiosks.

How about you? What do you think about self-checkouts? Send me a note and let me know.

Have a magnificent Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
Join the more than 13,000 who have already cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners are announced in the February issue of CITYVIEW!
Vote Now

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

We'll be warmer today and tomorrow... storm chances kick in again Tuesday afternoon, and rain chances then stick with us at least into Thursday night. The weekend looks cooler.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
965 S. 90th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Impeccably maintained 2-story standalone single family townhome nestled in the prime West Des Moines area. This 2-story home with a finished lower level is a true standout.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Boone man builds community piano

BOONE, Iowa — People in Boone were treated to a special sight and sound on Saturday. They were fascinated by a neighbor who created a piano on wheels. Instead of cars in Chuck Behm's garage, it's a shop full of pianos from people across the country who need repairs or restoration. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa woman who faked cancer diagnosis gets 10-year suspended sentence

BETTENDORF, Iowa — A 20-year-old Bettendorf woman who pleaded guilty in a cancer scam was sentenced to a 10-year suspended prison sentence with three years of probation in Scott County Court on Friday.... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: City of Des Moines plans to cover up 'The Shining' mural made by anonymous artist

If you've been around downtown Des Moines, you may have seen a mural inspired by the famous horror film "The Shining" — and it could be gone soon.. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports Notes
Yesterday's action from ESPN.com:
ALCS - Game 6: Rangers 9 Astros 2: SERIES TIED 3-3
Photo by Sharon Vickery
Send your fall photos to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Photo by Ann Fremont

Send your fall photos to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


GlobalUs investigated crystal meth in Iraq. That country enforced a ban on alcohol this spring and meth sales have soared.

The National Weather Desk reports that the snow crab harvest in Alaskan waters is meager. The crabs are moving north because of warmer waters.

Fresh Thyme (2900 University Ave., West Des Moines) has a sale on wild snow crab clusters for $6.95/lb. through Tuesday.

- Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Housing Market

Iowa Market Remains Steady Despite Slower Pace

As the summer season waned, so too, did the Iowa Housing Market in September with declines in nearly all metrics measured by the Iowa Association of REALTORS®. The dip in metrics follows national trends, a result of higher interest rates, lower inventory and rising prices. While the trajectory might at first appear dismal, there are glimmers of hope. The market continues to create competition for prospective buyers, a welcome sign for sellers, with bidding wars and some homes selling above asking price.

Single-Family Homes
Following national trends, the Iowa housing market saw a dip in available inventory in September. The 3,418 homes on the market represent a 6.8% decrease from the 3,667 homes on the market one year ago. The change was similar for monthly metrics, with available inventory decreasing 13% from August.

Home sales continued a downward trend in September, showing a 19.2% decline compared to home sales one year ago. Month-over-month sales remained down. The 2,852 homes sold in September was a 13.3% decrease from last month.

The pending sales of 2,408 homes in September represented a 18.8% decrease from one year ago. The decline was a bit smaller for monthly metrics, creating a 15.9% decrease from August’s pending sales.

The days on the market increased year-over-year to 35 days compared to the 30 day average of September 2022. Median sales prices increased 7.6% year-over-year to $220,000.

Townhomes and Condos
The market for townhomes and condos in Iowa resembled the single-family home market in September, showcasing mostly declines in sales and inventory.

With 477 new listings, the townhouse-condo market saw a decrease of 9.1% from the 525 homes on the market in September 2022. The margin was wider for monthly metrics, an 11.9% decrease from the listings posted in August.

Year-over-year sales declined slightly by 14% in September compared to the 493 sales completed in 2022. With 424 properties sold, the metric was 12.4% decrease from homes sold in August.

Pending sales were similar for townhomes and condos. The 346 pending sales in September represented an 8% decrease from last year and a 15.4% decrease from the number of pending sales recorded in August.

Days on the market increased for townhomes and condos last month, going from 41 days on the market in September 2022 to 55 this year. Median sales price increased, by 6.7% year-over-year to an average of $256,354.

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Jacque Lewton and Steve Jordan

These celebrities were born on this date: Amandla Stenberg, Ang Lee, Brian Nevin, Briana Evigan, Cat Deeley, Chris Weitz, Dianne Reeves, Dwight Yoakam, Weird Al Yankovic, Ryan Reynolds

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What do you call a fast zombie? A ZOOMBIE! - Mike Chiston, Lori Bluml, Shelly Adams, Gail Tomlinson. Or Deadly quick! - Irving Stone.

Today's riddle

Why did ghosts go to a bar?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

©Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc., all rights reserved.
www.biggreenumbrellamedia.com. Add webmaster@dmcityview.com to your address book to ensure delivery. Did someone forward you this newsletter? Click here to get it delivered to your inbox for FREE!


This email was sent to: email@example.com

Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc.
8101 Birchwood Ct Suite D
Johnston, Iowa 50131