Dutch supermarket chain launches 'chat checkout' in Belgium

Dutch supermarket chain launches 'chat checkout' in Belgium
Jumbo supermarket. Credit: Belga

Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is launching its first "chat checkout" in Belgium, for customers who would like to chat with the cashier while taking their time packing up and paying for their groceries.

In the Netherlands, such checkouts have been around for a while but the chain is now launching the first one in Belgium. It will be in the new Jumbo store in the Antwerp municipality of Balen that opened its doors on Wednesday.

"The chat checkout is mostly aimed at older, lonely people," franchise owner Martijn Vis of the Balen branch told Het Nieuwsblad. "The word says it all: it is a checkout for customers who like to have a chat with the cashier and don't want to hurry to pack up and leave."

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The checkout is marked very clearly, so customers in a hurry will not accidentally stand in the wrong queue. "The concept was very well received in the Netherlands. By the end of this year, Jumbo wants to have 200 of them in the Netherlands. This one in Balen is the first Belgian one."

The store selected its "chatty cashiers" by looking for the staff members who most enjoy speaking with customers within the team. "Those who qualify then go for a day's training at a Dutch branch with a chatty cashier. But the intention is that it should be natural."

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