Residents are complaining that self-service checkouts in a major supermarket cause ‘more inconvenience’ than traditional tills.

A Facebook user’s post in a Bicester community page detailing her account of hearing shoppers in Sainsburys complain about the self-service has been bombarded with comments by people who shop at the store.

The post has brought out a range of views from the Bicester public, from those who support the self-service machines to those who despise them.

One commenter said: “The amount of times you have to wait because the machine can’t detect something is unreal. Plus, the self-service checkouts put people out of jobs.

“Then, for only one person to be manning the 15 check outs and running around like a headless chicken trying to sort out tags, alcohol, ID and other problems; it’s just more inconvenience.”

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Another commenter said: “I always use the normal checkouts; it keeps people in jobs.”

A third added: “People come to the shop to have a chat with staff as well, not just do their shopping. It’s sad to see how everything is becoming automated.”

One commenter, who supports the use of self-checkouts, said: “The less staff that are needed for manned checkouts, the more staff that can be doing other tasks like sorting deliveries, stacking shelves and assisting customers.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We regularly review the services available in our stores to make sure we offer the most convenient experience to our customers.

“We’ve slightly increased the number of self-service checkouts at our Bicester store so that we can meet customer demand for this service.

“Our colleagues are on hand to help anyone who may need support using them and we continue to offer manned checkouts for our customers who wish to use them.”

The spokesperson added that customers will see the same level of colleagues in store as they usually would.

And that Sainsbury’s staff are multi-skilled, and they will just be working in a slightly different way.

Self-service checkouts were first introduced in the UK in Tesco stories in 2003, and are mostly used by customers with a basket due to the limited space.

In-store productivity solutions company Strongpoint claim that self-service checkouts are preferable to traditional tills because they reduce queueing time, create fewer staff-related money loss errors, take up less space than manned checkouts, save time for employees and reduce the impact of human factors such as sick leave.

According to an NCR Corporation whitepaper, as of 2013 there were 191,000 self-checkout units across the globe, and by 2025, it is predicted that 1.2 million units will be installed worldwide.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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