Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 15th April 2021 reading time
When supermarkets first opened (the first as early as 1916), customers were delighted.
Suddenly, they were in control. No more queueing at the cheese counter, the deli counter, the fish counter or the meat counter. No more being at the mercy of the person behind the counter for the cut you received. No more waiting around to be served. You could serve yourself with whatever took your fancy, and simply pay for it all at the end. How convenient!
Over time, this style of shopping spread to other kinds of shops, until browsing, shopping around, even window shopping became ‘the new leisure’. Supermarkets expanded their ranges to capture as much as possible, even including cafes, so you could spend all day if you wanted – literally, for a short while, as 24-hour shopping became allowed.
In-person shopping is dying – and not just because of Covid-19. Long before the pandemic hit, supermarkets had decided that shoppers should stay at home, order online and take what they were given.
Back to the bad old days, only this time without the personal interaction.
It seems that supermarkets don’t want customers any more. Only their custom.
I don’t think you can really have one without the other.