I have the advantage of being close to one of the nicest grocery stores in the world; Albertsons on Broadway.  Now my favorite store has made shopping for introverts like me even better. 

Our office is downtown and just a few blocks from Albertsons insanely posh store on Broadway, so typically at least a couple days each week, I'm grabbing lunch from the sandwich or hot bar, or grabbing some groceries on the way home.

You've seen this store right?  It's amazing.  Starbucks inside, wine and beers upstairs, sushi, hot bar, salad bar, sandwich bar, designer cookies and cakes, and crazy great microbrew selection.  It truly is one of those "game-changer" grocery stores (and don't get me started on Albertsons Marketplace across from the Village).

Since the store opened, I did find it a little surprising and a touch disappointing that they had missed ONE thing that would improve the shopping experience for introverted people like me.

They had built this beautiful store but neglected to put in self-check lanes.  It didn't make sense to me, since it's inarguably efficient (and can have 4-6 checkout systems overseen by one person), but even more, it fits me and many like me even better than a traditional checkout experience.

While I respect and understand the desire (and even marketing strategy) behind the personal interaction with a checker, I prefer to scan my own, and save the small-talk.  It's not that it isn't kind or even genuine, but it feels unnecessary and uncomfortable to me.

In fact, I was really turned off when a grocery store (now owned by Albertsons) I shopped at some years ago started thanking you by name from your loyalty account.  They always pronounced my name incorrectly, so that concept of connection and closeness backfired.

I did ask a checker about the change, and she noted that many of the team at Albertsons had hoped they wouldn't join the self-check revolution since they take their customer service and connection very seriously.  She felt it set them apart.

That's probably true, but I know for shoppers like me, it's made my favorite store even better, and I welcome it!  Just quietly, on my own, without saying anything.

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