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Jumbo supermarket opens new ‘slow lane’ so lonely customers can stop for a chat

A European supermarket chain has launched its version of a ‘slow lane’ as it looks to introduce 200 checkouts for people looking to have a chat.

A lot of Brits want to rush through the supermarket checkout, but there are some people who do like to converse with the person on the checkout rather than blitzing through a self-checkout.

As the majority of supermarkets look at efficiency through technology, Dutch supermarket Jumbo are going more public facing by introducing a checkout people can use to have a conversation with staff.

The aim of the chat checkouts, known as Kletskassa, is to help tackle loneliness in society by having real contact with customers.



Jumbo checkout
The supermarket now aims to open 200 Kletskassas throughout the Netherlands within a year

Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, CCO of Jumbo, has been the driving force behind the chain’s introduction of the chat registers.

She said: “Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain, we are at the heart of society. Our stores are an important meeting place for many people and we want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness. We do this in various ways, including our Kletskassa’s.

“We are proud that many of our cashiers like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa. They support the initiative and want to help people to make real contact with them out of genuine interest. It is a small gesture, but very valuable, especially in a world that is digitizing and getting faster and faster.”



Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd
CCO of Jumbo Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd (pictured left with the ribbon) has been a driving force behind the idea

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The initiative has already been trialled with great success at one of their branches in 2019.

Jumbo is a member of the National Coalition against Loneliness, which is an initiative of the Netherlands’s Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

According to government statistics, more than half of people over 75 in the country, which is 1.3 million people, say they feel lonely.

Jumbo supermarket opens new 'slow lane' so lonely customers can stop for a chat
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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