“As far as I know, we’re the first in Sweden without any cashiers, but I think all stores will have self-checkout machines within a couple of years,” said the store’s founder Daniel Waidzunas to the Metro newspaper.
Supermarket chain ICA have also noticed the trend, but doubt that they’ll be doing away with their cashiers. Several of their larger stores do have self checkout machines, however.
“We see that there’s an interest among some customers for this technology.” said Jenny Egeland, ICA’s press secretary, told The Local.
Worries that new technology may put cashiers out of a job are unfounded, however, Egeland maintains.
“We’re not looking to replace our cashiers. Absolutely not. This is an additional service which appeals to some, and provides a better opportunity for our staff to perform other duties.”
Magnus Nelin, competitor Coop’s head of communications, agrees.
“Our self-checkout systems provide a service for our customers, and allow our staff to do other duties around the store,” he said to The Local.
“But even customers using the self-checkouts need help sometimes, so cashiers still need to be close at hand.”
Self-checkout systems may still be a tad too futuristic for many Swedish shoppers.
“It’s still pretty new. We’ve seen that many people still choose to use the traditional checkout, even though there’s a longer queue for it,” Maria Luthström, of Axfood’s communication department, explained to The Local.
“We’re hoping that more people will start using self-checkout, to reduce queues,” she said.
It may be some time yet before Sweden’s major supermarket chains replace their cashiers with self checkout machines.
“We think it’s important to have a mix of several types of checkout systems,” explains ICA’s Jenny Egeland.
“Both traditional checkouts and self checkouts are necessary.”