I am a huge fan of both the social pressure to reuse bags for groceries, and the method of charging customers at the checkout a per-bag fee to incentivize the customers to bring their own bags. I'm old enough (and young enough, too) that when I started buying my own groceries, bringing my own bag was really hard. Baggers gave me funny looks when I tried to hand them re-usable bags, other people in the line gave me a funny look for slowing down the bagger, and even having a bag with you in the grocery store (both reusable bags and backpacks) felt forbidden while shopping: because I was living in car based societies, you were expected to be unencumbered, and, if you had a bag, it was probably for the purpose of stealing stuff. I now live in a big city where a lot of people do at least some grocery shopping on foot. I do all of my grocery shopping on foot, and since I almost always have a backpack on anyway, at least a good proportion of my groceries go into my backpack. In the bad old days, there were even stores I went to that wouldn't let me carry the one or two things I bought out in my hands after paying. My purchases HAD to be in a bag, because that was their anti-theft system. I really think that the social push for reusable bags (even more than my change of location) is what has made it so much easier and more pleasant for me to use reusable bags (and my backpack, and my hands) for groceries.
speising wrote:in my experience, the bottleneck in supermarkets is the cashier. of course, more personel here would help. i guess we pay them to much to be able to afford that. for bagging, we cart our stuff away after paying.
K-R wrote:How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?
Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?
Chen wrote:Except then the cashier you has to make sure to put things in the bag in the right order (e.g., no cans on top of bread) and thus slows down his processing of the other items.
K-R wrote:It really doesn't. At least not enough you'd notice.
I really, really notice. Aldi (a German discount grocery store) has been expanding in the US, and at Aldi* customers bag for themselves. The cashiers get SO MANY more people and things through per unit time than at standard American supermarkets, even ones with baggers. Here's how it works. The customer MUST put their stuff directly on the conveyor belt. The cashier will not take stuff out of the a hand basket put on the conveyor belt ('cause that slows them down). The cashier is at the end of the line: there is no table space or bagging space or anything after the cashier. Instead, there is a grocery cart (or a grocery cart with a hand basket in it) just after the register. The cashier dumps the groceries directly into the cart (or basket), and it saves tons of time compared to the cashier doing the bagging, and even compared to having a professional bagger do the bagging. Near the doors of the grocery store are extensive counter tops, where the customers bag their own stuff. So the total time per customer isn't really faster ('cause we hang around doing our own bagging), but the customer per employee time is much faster, and you usually spend a lot less time waiting in line. I do think most people would rather do something their own way for themselves (bag their own stuff) than stand around in line waiting. And, as a person putting groceries into my backpack, I love this system. Society is definitely getting more friendly about it, but I think it will remain awkward to haul your backpack up onto the counter past the register. At stores where the cashier bags and where there is a bagger, I do haul my backup up on the counter, but that puts the bagger in an awkward position if it's taking me a lot of time to pay. Should they grab my backpack and fill it? That's really my personal space, and most are hesitant to so. But having the bagger standing around waiting for me to bag is also awkward.
I'm really surprised how many people here think that promoting re-usable bags is a bad move. I love it!
*It sounds like Aldi does things exactly like Lidl, but I'm not going to delete all of this just because Diemo ninja'd me.