Booths supermarket scraps self-service check-outs at almost all stores after feedback from customers

Northern chain says only two stores will retain them to cover "very busy periods".

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Booths is ditching self-service check-outs at the majority of its stores after feedback from shoppers. The supermarket chain is stripping self-service tills from 25 of its stores, including all branches in Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Only two stores in the Lake District – in Windermere and Keswick – will retain the self-service machines to help staff during ‘very busy periods’. Booths will also increase the number of staffed checkouts and kiosks as part of its ongoing store renovation programme.

The move is in contrast to a wider industry shift which has seen UK supermarkets gradually replace traditional checkouts with increasing numbers of automated self-service tills.

Booths said its decision to axe self-service was in response to feedback from customers who voiced a preference for being served by staff when paying for their shopping.

Supermarket bosses have claimed the shift to self-service has helped them cut costs and provide a quicker service for customers. But many shoppers have expressed frustration at the trend, which some claim detracts from the overall customer service experience.

Customers having to wait for a store colleague to visually ID them when buying alcohol, or issues with checkouts registering the correct items or weights were some of the frustrations experienced by shoppers.

A Booths spokesperson said: “We believe colleagues serving customers delivers a better customer experience and therefore we have taken the decision to remove self-checkouts in the majority of our stores. We have based this not only on what we feel is the right thing to do but also having received feedback from our customers, who prefer a more personalised service. We will retain self checkouts in two of our stores in the Lake District in order to meet the needs of our customers during very busy periods.”