Northern supermarket chain Booths is getting rid of almost all of its self-service tills is a response to customer demand. The 28 stores, which are located in the north of England, will all have staffed checkouts except for two.
Keswick and Windermere in the Lake District will be the only stores to keep the self-service tills in order to ‘meet demand’ as the company makes the move, which is believed to be the first UK supermarket to move away from self-service tills.
A spokesperson for Booths discussed the move saying: “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.
“We have based this not only on what we feel is the right thing to do but also having received feedback from our customers. We will retain self-checkouts in two of our stores in the Lake District in order to meet the needs of our customers during very busy periods.”
Due to the drastic change, the chain will be increasing its number of staff on checkouts and kiosks as part of its renovation programme. It’s a bold move that foes against the grain of technological advancements in supermarkets over recent years where many supermarkets are making the shift to self-checkouts.
Booths highlighted that: ““We have based this not only on what we feel is the right thing to do but also having received feedback from our customers.
“We will retain self-checkouts in two of our stores in the Lake District in order to meet the needs of our customers during very busy periods.”
The company, which is sometimes known as the Waitrose of the north, said its philosophy that it was founded on back in 1847 was to ‘sell the best goods available, in attractive stores, staffed with first class assistants’.
Booths continued: “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,”
Some people find self-service tills impersonal as well as frustrating to use and also that they contribute to lack of employment available.
The BBC reports that one petition calling on Tesco to “stop the replacement of people by machines”, gaining almost 250,000 signatures, which highlights that not everyone is happy with this way of shopping.
Feature Image Credit: Booths