Fed up with the supermarket two-step

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I’ve long thought that supermarkets are just modern factories.  Like processing factory workers, we trawl up and down the aisles, pushing metal baskets on wheels, putting item after item into the trolley.  It’s a thankless, mind-numbing task at the best of times (unless chocolate biscuits are involved). And even if you buy your fresh goods at markets, you still need to enter the supermarket for toilet paper, toothpaste and other processed goods.

Then, once we’ve got the trolley loaded up, we go and take everything out again, put it all on the mini conveyor belt (you see my factory analogy here) so that someone else can process these same items for payment.

People, we need a better way.

Why oh why isn’t there some smart bod out there developing an app or a scanner that means I only have to handle what I buy once in the shop, instead of four times?  You put it in the trolley, you take it out again, then someone else puts it in a bag, and then you put the bag back in the trolley.  Then you take it out of the trolley again and put it in the car, or lug it on the bus, or into your cycle panniers if you are really virtuous. Then when you get home you take it all out again, and put it away.

Honestly, talk about double handling.  BUT, if there was some way of scanning the item when it is selected, and packing it into the bag at that time, then surely it would speed up the process, and reduce the number of times we do the supermarket two-step.

A little bit of on-line research showed that several forms of trolley scanners have been developed, and some have even been trialled in Australia.  IGA has been testing one system in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/01/infrared-shopping-trolley-hitting-brisbane-next-month/)

How much longer before the main supermarket chains bite the bullet and invest in these technologies?  I know they will have an impact on jobs in supermarkets, but there will still need to be staff to provide assistance to the technically challenged, and manage the processing of items, and check that we have actually scanned everything we have put in the trolleys.  And I know it will allow a database to be kept of what we purchase because it will be linked to our profiles. But I’m ok with that, really.

So come on Coles and Woolies, how about investing in some of this gear?  I’m over the supermarket two-step.

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5 thoughts on “Fed up with the supermarket two-step

  1. jude says:

    Wouldn’t it be fabulous if the independents beat Colesworths to it?

  2. Kerry Baylor says:

    i hear you Amanda.I now get home delivery,works a treat.They do all the handling! except i still have to put it in the pantry

    • I’ve thought about home delivery too, Kerry. But I like to actually handle the stuff, and like to make my own choices if they don’t have a brand available. I guess I’ve done enough shopping for other people over the years to still want that control myself. Or i am just a control freak. Either works for me.

  3. I’m not sure I’d trust people to scan all their own stuff. Even TV chefs try and get away with self-service shoplifting these days!

    And my local Tesco, a big one, has two in-shop scanners where customers can check prices. Both have been broken for a long time. I know they finally realised, when they started losing money, that none had been invested in-store and that they were appearing “shabby”. This was just living proof. Despite a billion pounds made for shop improvement six months ago I’m not sure that they’ve even been fixed yet.

    So giving everyone their own scanner is a bit unlikely, but I do seem to recall that existing somewhere, some-when. I wonder what happened to that? If that pilot failed I’m not sure they’d trust people to do it themselves with a phone ap.

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