A supermarket chain made a surprising decision: abandon self-checkouts

The disappearance of cashiers is not inevitable.

A supermarket chain made a surprising decision: abandon self-checkouts

The disappearance of cashiers is not inevitable. And this store chain has decided to prove it: the machines go in the trash and the cashiers come back!

In France, almost all supermarket chains have adopted self-checkouts and this trend seems endless. These technologies promise greater efficiency but this development is not without controversy. The fear that the cashier profession could disappear is a growing concern, especially as self-checkouts gain popularity.

However, in other countries such as the United Kingdom, the trend is reversing. This is the case for Booths, which announced that it would eliminate self-checkouts in most of its stores. The Booths chain has 27 stores and in all but two, self-checkouts will be replaced with real cashiers.

This chain had bet on this self-service service, adopting it in almost all of its establishments. However, she backtracked, preferring to focus on more personalized service for customers. “We love talking to people,” Booths director Nigel Murray said when making the announcement. “We are very proud to be moving towards a scenario where our customers are served by people, human beings,” he adds, emphasizing that instead of relying on artificial intelligence, they will opt for “real intelligence".

But it's not just the way we treat customers that influenced this decision. The fact that self-checkouts are "unreliable and slow" also played a role in this change, as many customers had difficulty distinguishing certain products when paying. The change is being made because a recent survey of the chain's customers found that people find self-checkouts difficult to use. Not to mention thefts which are facilitated by the automatic checkout because people with bad intentions can easily say that they forgot to scan an item.

So, this decision resulted in the return of employees to almost all Booths stores. However, quick checkouts will be kept for those making small purchases. The only exceptions are two stores which will continue to operate on a self-service basis due to the high volume of customers at these two locations.

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