Target has said no more to shoppers bringing red carts full of items through self-checkout lanes, at least at some locations.

The Minneapolis-based retailer is conducting a test in some stores that involves restricting self-checkout lanes to customers purchasing 10 or fewer items. A Target spokeswoman said the pilot is to "reduce wait times and better understand guest preferences."

At the Edina store near the Galleria and Southdale Center on Tuesday evening, one of the two banks of self-checkout kiosks had a sign out front declaring: "Self-checkout is now 10 items or fewer," plus smaller signs at each machine reminding shoppers it was an "express lane." The self-checkout stations nearest the grocery section, though, were still unlimited. There were also two staffed checkout lanes marked with the "express lane, 10 items or fewer" signs.

Some retailers are rethinking self-checkout as they deal with increased retail shrink, the industry term for product losses. Theft accounts for most of that, but shrink also includes other causes like processing errors. Walmart has started removing some self-checkout lanes from its stores in New Mexico. Costco has also reportedly been more stringent in making sure only members use its self-checkout lanes.

In a recent survey from online marketplace LendingTree, 69% of surveyed self-checkout users believed the machines contributed to shoplifting. Out of the survey respondents, 15% said they have purposely stolen merchandise while using self-checkout lanes, and 21% said they've taken an item accidentally.

Target didn't say whether the self-checkout test was a way to combat theft. It also didn't confirm the number or location of stores limiting self-checkout items.

More customers have become comfortable with contactless ways to shop, like self-checkout lanes, since the pandemic, when stores rapidly expanded strategies like pick-up and same-day delivery. Some stores limit self-checkout lanes, which have been around for years, to a smaller number of items to reduce wait times and improve efficiency. Other retailers rely on self-checkout for most transactions of any size as many still face labor shortages.

Last week, during a call with analysts to discuss Target's third-quarter financial performance, outgoing chief operating officer John Mulligan briefly discussed in-store checkout improvements. He said the retailer had refocused the front-end portion of its stores and recently saw a 6% increase in use of full-service checkout lanes across the company.