Backlash Over Self-Serve Checkouts in Mount Gravatt Supermarket

In a surprising development, a Coles store located in Mount Gravatt received unexpected backlash from shoppers for replacing traditional checkouts with self-serve registers.

This development came to light when a customer, known as @IreneMayPearce1 on Twitter, shared a photo of a Coles supermarket in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane, on the social media platform. The image revealed the newly renovated store, featuring self-serve registers equipped with conveyor belts and no staff present. 

As a result, customers would be responsible for scanning their purchases, with the option for employees to provide assistance when necessary. Concerned about the implications, a Brisbane shopper named Lara, who posted the photo on Twitter, expressed worries that the store had transitioned to a “completely self-service only” model, raising concerns that this might become a precedent for other Coles supermarkets. 

“I was told that Coles have done research. Apparently, we all asked for this,” she tweeted. “It is the 1st store in Qld and in the future all stores will be same. The staff found my disgust amusing.”

This change follows a similar implementation in a Coles supermarket in Melbourne last year, which left some locals unimpressed.

“Great, not! and you have to call for assistance every 3rd item because there is something unexpected in the bagging area,” one person wrote. 

“Most people I’ve met and spoken to at self checkout don’t know how to use it, don’t like it and prefer being served for what they’re paying for,” said another.

“It’s ridiculous. My uncle in his 60s has cerebral palsy and the use of only one arm. He hasn’t got good balance either. There is no way he can shop at places like this now. He relies on check out assistant. You could call this discrimination,” explains another.

Another called the change as “discriminatory and unkind”.

This trend of store renovations emphasising self-serve options is not unique to this particular establishment. Many people have instead suggested supporting smaller, community-based grocery stores as an alternative.

Published 13-May-2023

Olympic Champ Visits Mt Gravatt Little Athletics Centre to Help Deliver Good News from Coles

Olympic medallist Kelsey-Lee Barber recently visited the budding athletes at the Mt Gravatt Little Athletics Centre to help the Centre celebrate some good news and provide inspiration to the young, up-and-coming talents at the facility.

Mt Gravatt Little Athletics Centre is one of the grant recipients of the Coles Little Athletics Community Round. The $3,600 grant will be used for the purchase of sports equipment for the centre.

Coles’ allocation of sports equipment grants has been stretched to $2 million, thanks to the incredible sales of reusable community bags designed by Aussie kids. Sales of bananas at Coles supermarkets on National Banana Day in May 2021 also contributed to the fund.

Photo Credit: Supplied

“Our centre has been providing Little Athletics to the community for over 40 years and some of our equipment are well past their use-by date,” Mt Gravatt Little Athletics President Emma Munro said.

“The Coles grant will enable us to upgrade our line marking equipment thus significantly reducing the hours it takes for our volunteers to mark our fields.” 

Ms Barber, who is the reigning world javelin champ, said that the funding boost will allow the children of Mt Gravatt Little Athletics Centre to realise their full sporting potential.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for athletics in Australia off the back of Tokyo 2020 and with Brisbane 2032 on the horizon,” Ms Barber said.

“I know how important it is for athletes like myself to support the next generation so that our sport can continue to grow and thrive. It’s fantastic for Athletics Australia athletes to have a chance to do this through Coles Little Athletics Community Round.”

Photo Credit: Supplied

Statistics demonstrate the importance of having an early interest and involvement in athletics and sports. Seventy-five per cent of the Australian track and field team, who represented the country at the  Tokyo Olympics, and 23 per cent of para-athletes in the Paralympics, started their sports training at a Little Athletics facility. 

“That’s why support like this from Coles is so important,” Coles Little Athletics Australia President Andrew Pryor said. “The grants will help ensure little athletes of today have all the resources they need to develop into Olympians of the future if that is the pathway they choose.”

Coles State General Manager Jerry Farrell said the supermarket chain is happy to continue the partnership with Little Athletics centres in Queensland.

“Little Athletics centres and their dedicated volunteers play such a vital role in the local community to help kids keep active and healthy. We want to be better together with the community and we’re proud to play our part by providing nearly $370,000 in sports equipment grants to Little Athletics centres in Queensland over the past three years,” Mr Farrell said.