Monday 7 May 2012

Tesco Self-Checkouts and Self-Diagnosis

It’s a nice touch in the classier supermarket: enter the establishment, there’s the decorative table of samples. There’s the organic Shropshire lamb’s cheese; the Fairtrade Chinese gooseberry flavoured dark chocolate. But they have to get it right. They’ve got to be careful, for instance, with a new line in lime cordial. People tend to shy off that colour liquid offered as samples.
Tesco, the supermarket chain is in crisis (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW).

As good as bankrupt. Relatively speaking. Profits dipped to below £1bn for the last quarter. Dipped. If the universe suddenly stopped expanding and then started to contract, we would be looking at the same scale of reversal as Tesco filing a slightly smaller profit under £1bn. We are ingrates. ‘Every little helps’, is there slogan. Well, every little helped and now we’re not repaying them as much. But Tesco can come back. It can make more of its resources. The self checkouts. Diversify, branch out into medical provision and Tesco will find there’s a whole host of things you can self-checkout. Like your prostate gland. Knock up some brand-coloured screens to pull round the customer-patient at the checkouts and Bob’s your transsexual aunt. Or there’s any from a number of staff you can call on, the ones who have to hang around in the aisles telling you to go and use the self-checkouts, to show that the auto-tills are doing a good job making them redundant. They can still make themselves useful can’t they? Holding up coats is a time-honoured way of preserving dignity. The self-checkout part then is of course the so-called ‘finger up the arse’ to check the prostate gland is still up there, hasn’t fallen out or something. And there’s not much to reprogram on the checkouts themselves. The supermarket chain could find another application for that lady-voice auto-message ‘Unexpected item in baggage area’ to report irregularities.
Returning to the initial subject… A note of caution to supermarket customers: in future, tread carefully trying one other type of shop sample – the lemon slices in water. Some people might be alright, thinking: classy – Tesco’s promoting shellfish. None left to sample, but there’s the evidence, the fingerbowls. It’s if you’re in the other camp, the one that thinks the lemon is for sampling, that you’re in trouble. It’s going to be like the pink swill-out water at the dentist’s, the clean up for those who have taken advantage of the new self-checkout facilities.

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