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Asda dodges question on future of manned check-outs

ASDA has declined to say what the future of traditional check-outs will be following complaints about the store’s new ‘Scan and Go’ system.

The system, which has been installed recently at the store at Branch Road, is a new self check-out system where customers scan bar-codes on products using a handheld device as they shop.

The scheme is described by the retail giant as a “convenient” and “quick” alternative to the traditional check-out.

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However the new mode of self service has been decried by some as further evidence that traditional check-outs could soon be a thing of the past. To make way for Scan and Go in Strabane, some four full-sized manned check-outs were removed.

And workers too have outlined their concerns that the company is pushing the technology beyond what is acceptable to customers. Another staff member suggested jobs could eventually be lost to technology.

“It’s concerning that there seems to be an increasing irrelevance for till staff and the burden being put on sometimes unwilling customers, to do their job for them,” one colleague at Asda said this week.

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Another staff member added, “New technology has always meant people doing less. People are wondering where this will all end up. Any business looking to make a profit would rather use technology than pay a wage. If staff aren’t worried now, maybe we should be.”

Asda customers have also contacted this newspaper to outline their concerns. One man suggested this was “yet another scam to get the customers to do the work.”

This week the Strabane Chronicle asked Asda what the plans are for the remaining traditional checkouts? And, could the company reassure staff in relation to jobs.

Asda declined to comment on both fronts. Instead, an Asda spokesperson said, “We want to offer all of our customers a choice about how they shop with us, which is why we have introduced Scan and Go in our Strabane store for those looking for a convenient and quick shopping experience. Customers can rest assured that however they choose to shop with us, our friendly colleagues will always be on hand to help out.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB