Japanese supermarket introduces checkouts for the elderly and disabled

22. 06. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

While the common trend in supermarkets is to speed up the checkout process, one store in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, has taken the opposite approach. They have introduced a so-called super-slow checkout, where there is no room for rush and stress. This checkout is designed especially for the elderly and people with health problems.

Everyone has experienced a situation where the queue at the checkout is standing still because someone is stalling at the front, or conversely, the goods are being packed up quickly so that the cashier and waiting customers don’t get impatient. Even routine shopping can be stressful, especially for seniors and people with disabilities who often keep their store visits to a minimum.

Abe Nana of the Alzheimer’s Support Center in Fukuoka Prefecture was aware of this and designed a checkout area where there is plenty of time for everything. Customers can calmly count their money, slowly wrap up their purchases or inquire about current promotions. They can also chat with the helpful and friendly cashiers.

Although a checkout, where customers can spend up to twenty minutes, may sound like nonsense, it has become very popular, for example even among pregnant women. The store’s sales have increased by ten percent. The people for whom this checkout is intended are no longer stressed by the time pressure of paying and have come to prefer this supermarket to others.

It’s not yet clear whether the company will introduce similar checkouts in other stores, but reactions from users online suggest it would be the right move. The idea of special checkouts for the elderly and people with health problems has been around for about five years. According to Kyodo, the first such checkouts appeared in Japan in 2019.

After a recent report from Fukuoka, aired on Asahi TV, it seems that these checkouts could soon become a regular feature in all Japanese supermarkets.

Photo source: www.pexels.com

Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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