Booths grocery chain, a fixture in the north of England, is reversing the move to automation by eliminating self-checkout lanes in favor of traditional customer service, the New York Post reported Saturday.
“We’re not great fans of self-checkouts,” the company’s managing director Nigel Murray, told The Grocer. “We pride ourselves on great customer service, and you can’t do that through a robot.”
Booths, whose history dates back to 1847, remains steadfast in its commitment to “first-class assistants” and quality service, the company was cited as stating in an article from The Guardian. This commitment will see the end of self-service lanes in all but two stores, recognizing both the seasonal demand and the company’s service ethos.
“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,” a Booths spokesperson said. “We have based this not only on what we feel is the right thing to do but also having received feedback from our customers. Delighting customers with our warm northern welcome is part of our DNA, and we continue to invest in our people to ensure we remain true to that ethos.”
While Booths continues its efforts toward improved customer service, other retailers are struggling with automating the checkout and payment process. Walmart recently removed self-checkout options from some of its stores without explanation, while Wegmans, a popular grocer based in Rochester with two stores in New York City and a handful in nearby suburbs, recently discontinued a widely used self-checkout app due to abuse.
“SCAN users have told us they love the app and convenience it offers,” Wegmans told The New York Times. “Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state.”
Nick Koutsobinas | [email protected]
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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