Traffic jams, theft, and dismal customer service are just some of the reasons why this supermarket chain says they’ll never install self-checkouts.
In fact, Paul Mabarek, manager of customer engagement at Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets (AFS), told news.com.au Coles and Woolies had made a big ‘misstep’ when they installed the self-service checkouts.
‘I cannot recall a single customer saying please put in self-serve checkouts. Not a single one,’ he says.
Mr Mabarek admits that maintaining fully staffed checkouts might seem expensive - but it is worth it.
‘One of our marks of success is that we employ more staff, not less staff, because there’s a fundamental belief that if you improve your service and are in tune with customer’s expectations they will support you.’
Feedback about self-checkouts is mixed with a Woolies spokesman saying their customers love it: ‘We know that self-serve check-outs are very popular with our customers nationwide and we have them in around 80 per cent of our stores, with an average of six in each.’
While marketing consultant Barry Urquart revealed to news.com.au that 84% of customers would prefer to deal with a human.
Customer satisfaction aside - the apparent savings made by not having manned checkouts has been met with concern about how easy customers find it to swindle the self-checkouts.
One woman was revealed to have stolen over $4500 worth of groceries with a scheme to trick the machines into only charging her 60 to 70 cents per item.
Mr Mabarek says that the mess that Coles and Woolies have gotten themselves into with self checkouts is not his problem.
‘Good luck to them, but we know where we’re going and they have no impact on us. We wouldn’t take a lead from the big two. For us that would be a disaster.’