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Dutch supermarket Jumbo has announced that 200 of its checkout counters will be turned into a 'Kletskassa', or chat checkout. At a Kletskassa, customers aren't rushed and cashiers make time for a friendly chat.
The family-owned supermarket chain is targeting stores in neighborhoods with high levels of loneliness, particularly among older adults. Cashiers are trained to recognize signs of loneliness, and stores are encouraged to launch local initiatives to combat isolation.
In addition to its Kletskassa project, Jumbo is also involved with the National Coalition Against Loneliness, which was developed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The coalition mainly focuses on preventing older people from feeling isolated and disconnected, and supports initiatives like low-cost neighborhood meals, virtual visits to the Rijksmuseum and soccer for seniors.
While some shoppers are drawn to self-checkouts for their speed and convenience, Jumbo recognizes that people are social beings. Around the world, the loneliness epidemic — which isn't limited to older people — was a problem long before COVID-19 made things worse.
Which connections is your brand fostering? And how can you ensure that basic human needs like belonging, connection, empathy and community aren't neglected when your organization's processes are retooled for greater efficiency?