Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Coles carefully selects words to guide how you view the experience

Mark Fletcher
September 4th, 2014 · 4 Comments

If you have used a self service checkout at a Coles supermarket recently you would have heard the voice from the machine welcome you to Coles assisted checkout and at the end say Thank you for using Coles assisted checkout.

The only assistance I have seen is if something goes wrong. You then wait, and other wait, for a Coles staffer to fix the problem. No, you scan your own items, bag them, feed in your payment and collect your change. These self service check outs are about Coles offering less service, less assistance rather than more.

The only explanation I can come up with for Coles using the term assisted checkout is that they want you to think of it that way – that they are assisting you. They are trying to tell you that this is them helping you when the actual experience is you helping them reduce labour costs.

Calling it a Coles assisted checkout is nonsense.

A Coles I visit regularly to check magazines has replaced six full service lanes with these self service check outs, leaving them with two full service lanes. While some customers happily use the self serve checkouts, many do have problems. You can see the look of frustration on their faces.


Category: Competition · Newsagency management

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brett // Sep 4, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    Happy to have a self serve check out – BUT – the product should be cheaper if sold that way.


  • 2 h // Sep 4, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I use a human, but one 7am morningI asked an idle staffer to “assist” me to learn to use the self service machine. She promptly scanned my apples at the incorrect LOWER price, and I corrected her, and she grinned at me and said “hey don’t worry, I got them for you cheaper”. I was gobsmacked. I have since heard of people scanning an avocado as a potato.
    I prefer and use the human aisles, and the back-up at the self-serve is often just as long as the humans. Best ever supermarket check-out is at ALDI, they’ve got it right.


  • 3 Brendan // Sep 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    We have heard from Coles staff that brown onions are their most popular grocery item (and shock, horror, their cheapest). Go figure.


  • 4 Jonathan Wilson // Sep 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I refuse to use the self-service checkouts. Why should I participate in efforts by the supermarket chains to eliminate hard-working checkout operators?


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