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