A per­sonal touch to check­out pre­ferred

Kingston Whig-Standard - - OPINION -

Syl­vain Charlebois states in his col­umn, “Gro­cery stores slow to adopt use­ful tech­nol­ogy” (Dec. 4), that the most frus­trat­ing thing about gro­cery shop­ping is get­ting out of the store, that is, the line­ups at the check­out coun­ters. I agree with him, but at no time does he of­fer the ob­vi­ous (to me) so­lu­tion of hir­ing more check­out clerks.

I shop only at stores that sup­ply con­ve­nient, fast check­out. I have left carts of gro­ceries and items I was about to pur­chase in the store when the lines were too long and the store was not staffed suf­fi­ciently.

My ex­pe­ri­ence with self-check­out is as Charlebois de­scribes — less than sat­is­fac­tory. I have stopped us­ing them. And there is the is­sue of self-check­outs elim­i­nat­ing jobs (their pur­pose).

Self-check­outs do not pro­vide as­sis­tance, if one needs it, to find an item.

Charlebois men­tions 11 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion use self-check­outs and two per cent buy food on­line reg­u­larly, so that tells me the ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers (87 per cent) pre­fer to shop for their gro­ceries in a more tra­di­tional fash­ion.

Why is it a given that tech­nol­ogy is the only an­swer? It may be the cheapest so­lu­tion, but there are other fac­tors to con­sider.

The sce­nario of gro­cery shop­ping where you “don’t need to talk to any­one” is not ap­peal­ing to some and down­right ob­jec­tion­able to oth­ers.

Maria Ben­ham Arva

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