That Mr. Weston. He’s always thinking about his customers and how to improve the grocery shopping experience. Like when they tried out price-fixing on bread on a massive scale, so we wouldn’t be confused with all those different prices. Now they’ve got a new idea, which I noticed today at my local No Frills.
They got rid of that pesky express cash aisle. Instead, they started calling the self-checkout aisle an express lane. See, I can get checked out faster by doing it myself. What an idea. As a bonus, Mr. Weston can have one person helping out for several checkout stations. Efficiency and productivity as well as customer service. In the “you piss in my boots and tell me it’s rain” department, this is an award-winning idea. Thank you Mr. Weston for thinking of your customers once again.
I will make one little aside. That is that me and my fellow house-husbands who do the shopping regularly know perfectly well who the fast vs slow cashiers are. We don’t need no stinkin’ express line because we know that one of the speedy cashiers can move a whole line-up through faster than one of the slower ones. If I’m in a hurry, I know which line to pick without Mr. Weston telling me.
Do I use the self-checkout? Well, I have tried it, but I rarely use it. In my world, I much prefer dealing with a human, saying hi, and engaging in a bit of chit-chat before heading off on my merry way. Do you use self-checkouts? Or am I just a problem customer who can’t keep up with the times?
I hate self-checkouts with the burning fire of a thousand suns. I am very, very happy to pay whatever the retailer saves by eliminating a cashier position or three. I also miss the people who used to pump your gas, clean your windshield and check your oil when you fueled up, and gave you change from those nifty gadgets on their belts. I’m serious. Self-service is BS of the purest ray serene.
People assume that the reason that express lanes exist in grocery stores at all is because the stores want to look after all those customers with small purchases and help them get out of the store more quickly. That would be an incorrect assumption. Think of a line up at a cash register with 4 customers lined up. The 2 at the front of the line each have 8 items and will spend $9 each and the 2 at the back of the line each have a heaped grocery cart and will each spend $160. The person 4th in line looks at their cart and thinks ‘geez Im spending $160 this week and I have to line up 4th in line. The store needs more cashiers because this just sucks and I dont like shopping here.’ The stores really dont like when that happens. Customers with negative experiences are more likely to just shop somewhere else next week. The solution is pretty simple. Pull all of the small orders out of the line ups and herd them all over to one cash register over there at the end. Now the guy who was 4th in line with their cart loaded right up becomes second in line. ‘Hey this is pretty good, I have a big order and Im starting 2nd in line, I like shopping here’. Perfect/ Meanwhile the express line has 11 customers lined up but seriously the store wouldnt notice if the whole lot of them got pissed off and shopped somewhere else. Just keep those big spenders happy. Forcing the express line customers over into the self serve aisle is just the next logical step in not giving a crap about the small orders.