Technology is something that just continues to move forward at a rapid pace. Some types of technology are convenient and others, perhaps not so much.
One type of technology that sometimes has people divided over whether it is convenient or not is self-service checkouts. In a perfect world, they would work well and would save us a lot of time standing in line. On the other hand, they can be finicky.
More and more stores seem to be using self-checkouts as an option for their customers. One particular store, however, has decided that they were going to move things in a different direction.
The grocery store chain, which is popular in the UK, is Booths. They have been selling groceries in the area for over 170 years and they have 28 stores in the United Kingdom.
Recently, they announced that all but two of their busiest stores would be removing the self-service checkouts and focusing on customer service.
They said: “We believe colleagues serving customers delivers a better customer experience and therefore we have taken the decision to remove self-checkouts in the majority of our stores.”
The managing director for the grocery store said: “Our customers have told us this over time, that the self-scan machines that we’ve got in our stores, they can be slow, they can be unreliable, they’re obviously impersonal.
“We stock quite a lot of loose items – fruit and veg and bakery – and as soon as you go to a self-scan with those you’ve got to get a visual verification on them, and some customers don’t know one different apple versus another for example.
“There’s all sorts of fussing about with that and then the minute you put any alcohol in your basket somebody’s got to come and check that you’re of the right age.”
The director also went on to say that they pride themselves on the high standards they hold and the level of warm, personal care they provide.
“We like to talk to people and we’re really proud that we’re moving largely to a place where our customers are served by people, by human beings, so rather than artificial intelligence, we’re going for actual intelligence,” he said.
Many of the customers are happy with the idea, saying that chatting with the staff is something that makes shopping interesting. The grocery store agrees, saying that the “warm northern welcome” is part of their DNA.
As far as the two busier stores that are keeping the self-service machines, they are doing so for the convenience of their customers during very busy periods.