Supermarket chain Morrisons is re-introducing staffed express checkouts in response to a survey which revealed 67% of people are worried they hold up fellow shoppers when using self-scan machines.
The express lanes will serve customers who wish to buy 10 items or fewer and will mean customers with a small shop who want personal service will not have to queue behind those with a trolley full of groceries and have an alternative to self-scanning.
The average basket size for a UK supermarket customer is now 11 items costing £15, with shoppers visiting stores approximately five times a week, according to market analyst Kantar Worldpanel.
A poll of 2,588 shoppers revealed that 96% of people like to have a chat with staff at the till – the most popular reason for preferring staffed check-outs. “We’re listening hard to our customers and responding quickly wherever possible,” Morrisons CEO David Potts said. “If customers from time to time do smaller shops, they want to get in and out of our stores quickly. We are responding by introducing express checkouts which shoppers with 10 items or less can use. These checkouts – and our very helpful staff – will offer a quick and personal service, helping to keep queues low and improving thousands of shopping trips.”
Two express lanes will be introduced at each of Morrisons’ 504 supermarkets nationwide. They will be run from existing checkout units within each store. One will be operational from 8am to 8pm and both during daily peak shopping periods of 12-2pm and 4-6pm.
Their addition means Morrisons will offer customers three payment options in store.
Standard checkouts will cater for larger trolley shops, while self-checkouts and manned express checkouts will give customers more choice for smaller shops.
The development follows another recent change which has seen the removal of Morrisons Intelligent Queue Management system. Staff now use their own judgement to decide how many checkouts to open rather than being guided by a computer system.
I went into Sainsburys this week and with several items in my basket went to the “basket only” checkout till and guess what, there was no one on it. I asked a member of staff why it was not staffed and the reply I got was “we don’t open it until 9.30am”…………I asked how long the store had been open and the member of staff said “from 6.00am.” I raised my eyebrow and shook my head in despair and then walked away……….I heard a voice behind me say “you can use the self service checkout”………it was all I could do to stop myself hurling the contents of my basket at her!