Tuesday, 9 August 2022


 Went to Sainsburys this morning, to get a few things needed for our caravan stay.  For the past few weeks, it's been clear there's something going on in our store (a large one), there are fewer and fewer tills open, big gaps on the shelves, a cordoned off area at the front of the store, the cafe is no longer open (it was shut all through lockdown anyway, but I think it did open up again briefly earlier this year).  This morning there was only one manned till open.  I asked the checkout operator what was going on - she said that they are planning on doing away with ALL manned tills, meaning everyone will have to use the self service ones.  The cordoned off area will be an Argos store (Sainsburys and Argos are of course amalgamated now), there's a large Argos store on the same retail park but that is to be closed down.  The cafe is to be refurbished and will be simply a coffee shop rather than offering meals as it used to.  The entire store is being refurbished too, all works should be completed by November apparently.

I don't mind using the self service tills for just a few things, but not for a trolley load - the reason being their self service tills constantly flash up messages basically saying you're doing something wrong, and a supervisor has to be called - this happens almost every time, sometimes 2 or 3 times in one shop - and not just to me, I see it happening to everyone else too.  It's downright annoying.  I went into Matalan the other day - they've had self service tills for ages and they are a total pleasure to use - easy, no fuss and I've never needed a supervisor.  So why Sainsburys are such trouble to use I don't know.

The checkout operator said that all supermarkets are moving the same way - no manned tills.  That's all very well, but I think it's going to be awful for older people, or others who have learning disabilities or anxiety problems, e.g..  I know for example that my mother would NEVER have coped with a self service till.  And there are still people who pay by cash (I rarely use cash nowadays) - will the self service tills accept cash?  Or are they planning on phasing cash out altogether too?  I know things change and we have to move with the times, but it seems we're being railroaded into accepting big changes.  And it's not even as if we can boycott one shop if we don't like what they're doing and use a different one, if they're all moving the same way.  No doubt conspiracy theorists will have a lot to say about this!

It's going to be hot again for the next few days, it's already hot again now.  Fortunately, it shouldn't be as scorchingly hot as last month, and there is some rain forecast for next week, thankfully.  We're still going to the caravan, we have 2 fans there and are taking a 3rd, Betty has a cool mat both here at home and at the van (not that she actually lays on either of them!  She might put her head on one occasionally).  We have 2 sunshades in the garden, I'll put tea towels wrung out in cold water on her when she lies down (she does shrug them off after a few minutes though!).  She has unlimited fresh cold water, which she does drink regularly, and I give her diluted chicken stock frozen ice cubes which she happily crunches.  So I think she'll be fine.  Obviously, she only gets walked early mornings and in the evenings, if she needs a wee during the day we take her in a shady spot for just long enough to do her wee.  We put a towel on the fake grass for her to lay on in the van garden - not that it gets excessively hot anyway, husband put a deep layer of sand down when he was laying the fake grass.  I'm sure she'll be fine, we'll keep a good eye on her.


  1. I hate the self-service tills. They're not too bad if you've only got a handful of things, but a trolley-load? No thanks! I only use them if I've only got a couple of things + there's big queues at the "proper" checkouts and I'm not too bothered if the computer says "No!" I can just forget it. We shop at Tesco, mainly, but they don't seem to re-stock very quickly. There's a big new Sainsbury's due to open next year (it was a Homebase, and they've taken over a couple of other stores, too.) It's going to be huge, so it should shake Tesco up a bit! I like cash, and they were saying on the news that more people are moving back to cash so they can keep track of how much they spend. We'll wait and see... xx

  2. I do not use the self served…my credit card was hacked there…I wait in lines, but I don’t go to large stores because of Covid…small grocery store and Dollar General…I know it is coming…only self serve…dread it…enjoy your stay in your summer home…

  3. I don't mind the self service tills although I'd go for a manned till by choice. When the queues are long, there's often spaces at the self service so that's where I go.
    Have a lovely time at the van. xx

  4. I have the same problem with the self service tills as well. I try not to use them if at all possible.

    God bless.

  5. I know our little Sainsbury's is going the same way, sigh.

    I have used the "Smart Shop" a few times and I hate to admit this, but it works really well and means you are not constantly moving items from trolley to conveyor belt and back again. If you have a smartphone it might be worth trying?

  6. I agree with Jayne, the Smart Shop does work really well. You can even pack the shopping into your bags as you go round, no more queuing to unload and load again. The drawback is that cash isn't accepted, just card payments. I was a bit dubious to begin with, but prefer it now.

  7. I've been using the scanner for years now and don't feel 'properly dressed' without it in my hand. Our Sainsbury is quite big and some of the self-service tills also take cash. I've tried using the mobile app but found it very awkward as I need more hands, and therefore took a lot longer. At least the scanner has a port you can park it in or lay on top of your shopping. Wouldn't be able to do that with the mobile as it wouldn't be secure.


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