I’m torn on self-checkout.  If I’m buying just a few groceries and don’t need to look up vegetables, then it’s a quick way to get in and out of the store.  But if I have questions about sale items, especially digital coupons, I want to interact with a cashier.  I’ve also discovered that if I need assistance at self-checkout, I’m going to wait.

A grocery chain in Maine has decided to restore cashiers.  Surveys showed customers wanted someone to check out their groceries.  The company also believes it creates a more welcoming atmosphere.  You can read more by clicking here.

You need to know that the shops in Maine are a smaller regional operation.  If there are shareholders, they likely are local and many may work for the company.

Much of Idaho is served by bigger players.  Some are getting even bigger.  I believe I once counted nine places in Twin Falls where you can find a wide supply of groceries.  Most of these stores are relying more and more on self-scanning.  First, it can keep costs down.  A scanner doesn’t require benefits and it doesn’t call in sick.  Second, we still have competition putting downward pressure on prices.

While I like being able to sometimes speak with a cashier, I like spending less even more.  I can live with the machines.  It’s a personal choice and I’m aware it’s not the one everyone likes.

Speaking of digital coupons, that’s a separate beef.  A cashier told me I was stupid if I didn’t take advantage of online savings.  Then when I did, I discovered items online aren’t always available and often there’s nothing on the shelves to indicate there’s a sale.  This is even more confusing because you can’t always identify the size of the box online and you pick an item not discounted.

Last week a woman at a service counter finally told me the company doesn’t have all the bugs worked out!

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