Dutch Supermarket Chain Opens Slower 'Chat Checkouts' In An Effort To Combat Loneliness Among The Elderly

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Dutch Supermarket Chain Opens Slower 'Chat Checkouts' In An Effort To Combat Loneliness Among The Elderly

A Dutch supermarket chain is launching a new checkout service designed so that older (and some younger) customers can checkout more slowly and chat with cashiers. The move is designed to make shopping less stressful and create a greater sense of community whilst fighting loneliness.


The system launched by supermarket chain 'Jumbo' is called 'Kletskassas' and roughly translates as 'chat checkouts'. The program is inspired by the Dutch government's 'One Against Loneliness' campaign which seeks to foster community links and assist those living in isolation. The Netherlands has around 1.3 million people older than 75. Loneliness is seen not only as a negative in itself but is also linked to worse health outcomes and a much poorer quality of life. The pandemic and ongoing lockdowns have only added to the burden of loneliness, with older people, often living alone, among the worst affected.



Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, CCO of Jumbo, told reporters:


"Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain, we are at the heart of society. Our stores are an important meeting place for many people and we want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness. We do this in various ways, including our Kletskassas. We are proud that many of our cashiers like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa. They support the initiative and want to help people to make real contact with them out of genuine interest. It is a small gesture, but very valuable, especially in a world that is digitizing and getting faster and faster."


She added:


"At Jumbo, we want to be more than just a place where you do your shopping. For example, we help our stores by means of a manual to signal loneliness among customers and to set up local initiatives... Several stores also have a chat corner where customers can grab a nice cup of coffee and chat with neighbours."



The program was launched in 2019 but is now being expanded across 200 stores.


The Dutch government, as part of its wider anti-loneliness campaign, has also launched initiatives that involve home-visits, befriending services, telephone hotlines and online communities to further their goal.


[h/t: Upworthy]


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Thinking Humanity: Dutch Supermarket Chain Opens Slower 'Chat Checkouts' In An Effort To Combat Loneliness Among The Elderly
Dutch Supermarket Chain Opens Slower 'Chat Checkouts' In An Effort To Combat Loneliness Among The Elderly
A Dutch supermarket chain is launching a new checkout service designed so that older (and some younger) customers can checkout more slowly and chat wi
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