New checkouts for the over-70s to accept small fiddly coins only


Tesco supermarkets today announced that it was introducing special checkouts for the ‘70s or over’ which will be especially designed to make the entire shopping experience less efficient and more time consuming.

‘We’re always on the lookout for ways to make our stores more appealing and have noticed that a number of our older customers have special needs that are not being catered for in the conventional retail environment,’ explained Mike Billingsworth from Tesco. ‘This section of the community wants to be able to come in and have a chat during the checkout process. They want to be able to spend not only half an hour shopping but also to suddenly remember something that they must have after a further ten minutes standing at the checkout.’

To assist the over 70s, the checkouts will only accept cash transactions for the exact amount and the only denominations accepted will be the smaller, fiddly coins. Cheques will not be accepted unless they have been folded in four. The aisles will be slightly too narrow for shopping bags with integral trolleys and there will be no ‘Next Customer Please’ separators as the target consumers prefers to place their arm across the conveyer as a divider.

checkout‘Our checkout staff have been specially trained in meaningless small talk and to repeat the last clause of the customers’ sentence adding the word ‘yes’ at the end’ continued Mr Billingsworth. Customers will be expected to only start packing after three quarters of their shopping has been through the scanner. ‘We are also keen to recreate at every visit that wonderfully dazed denouement that happens when they are asked to pay as though for the first time ever.’

Any customers who have their method of payment ready at the checkout, or a rough estimate of the cash total will be forced to place their money or cheque into a fiddly purse that will be placed at the bottom of a full laundry bag before being returned to them.

The details of the new checkouts have now been given out to elderly customers, but on leaflets with deliberately small print. ‘It went exactly as we hoped,’ said Mike Billingsworth; ‘over 85% of our target audience looked at the leaflets and said ‘Oh dear, I’ve forgotten my glasses.’

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Posted: Nov 25th, 2006 by

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