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Supermarket chain comes up with a brilliant idea to encourage socializing after COVID-19 pandemic

A lot of people find solace in grocery shopping and interacting with fellow shoppers and the staff. Booths has taken a step to help with that.

Supermarket chain comes up with a brilliant idea to encourage socializing after COVID-19 pandemic
Cover Image Source: Booths The Good Grocers

Scenes of people socializing have changed a lot throughout the world after the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis pushed everyone to change their lifestyle and go digital. This also resulted in little to almost no human interaction. While there are many who appreciate this change in their lifestyle, there is also a section of society that struggles with isolation due to the lack of tech knowledge. We are talking about the older generations, who aren't as tech-savvy as young people. Since one of the times they do actually get the chance to socialize is while grocery shopping, supermarket chain Booths has taken the initiative. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

 

Due to high customer demand, as they told BBC News, Booths is now opting for staff checkouts instead of the self-service they had. In fact, out of their 28 stores that trade in Northern England, only two still have self-service tills. The remaining 26 all have staff members to help you with your checkout. The two stores that still have self-service tills are in Keswick and Windermere. The supermarket says that this change occurred due to heavy customer feedback.



 

Booths is the first supermarket chain in the UK to let go of machines and hire staff for checkout. The company said, "We believe colleagues serving customers deliver a better customer experience and therefore we have taken the decision to remove self-checkouts in the majority of our stores." They also added that the self-checkouts at two stores in Lake District will remain open in order to meet the needs of customers during busy periods. This shift is also inspired by the founding philosophy of this store. The philosophy went like this: Sell the best food available, in the best stores, staffed with first-class assistants. And let's be honest, who's not going to absolutely love such service and stores? 



 

The managing director at Booths, Nigel Murray, 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 and they're obviously impersonal." He said that the store stocks quite a lot of loose items like fruits, vegetables and bakery items and the process of getting a visual verification on them can confuse customers. Like Murray said, Booths is a business that prides itself on its high standards and high levels of warm, personal care. The company added to that, saying, "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."



 

Grocery shopping is sometimes a very taxing and dry thing to do, especially for housewives or the elderly. Having people to talk to in the store can immediately make it better. Even Sue from Leyland agrees. Sue, who is a shopper at Booths and a resident of Leyland, shared that she thinks shopping is a boring, mundane thing to do. She says, "I think if staff are there chatting with you, it just makes it better." All said and done, this is a wonderful step towards socializing that has been taken by this supermarket. Here's to hoping that more follow the cue and make this shift at the earliest.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Gustavo Fring
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Gustavo Fring

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