Booths supermarket scrapping self-checkouts to 'double down' on customer service

The supermarket chain are hoping to boost customer experience.

Booths is ditching self-service checkouts to 'double down' on its reputation for customer service experience.

The supermarket chain is removing the technology from all except two of its 27 locations.

It plans to increase the number of manned checkouts and pay points as part of an ongoing store renovation programme.

Booths Managing Director Nigel Murray said the decision had been made after customer feedback showed a preference for being served by staff when paying for their shopping.

He told The Grocer: "We’re not great fans of self-checkouts.

“We pride ourselves on great customer service and you can’t do that through a robot.

"The regional supermarket first began introducing self-checkouts into stores six years ago as a way of helping to manage its wage bill and increase efficiency.

"However, the technology could be problematic and overall detracted from the enjoyment of shopping at Booths."

He said the downsides included customers having to wait for a store colleague to visually ID them when buying alcohol, or issues with checkouts registering the incorrect items or weights.

Despite the wider pushback, it “made sense” to keep the technology at two of Booths’ busiest stores in the Lake District – in Windermere and Keswick – as these could get “quite busy” if a large number of tourists turned up during a short time period, Murray added.

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