Supermarket Has Slow Checkout Line On Purpose, Warning Posted Gains National Attention

Everybody, it seems, is in a hurry, so suffering in a slow line at a grocery store when you’re rushing to get to the next thing can sometimes be a challenging experience. One supermarket has instituted a special, more relaxed, slower moving line, which may be hard for some people to wrap their head around if they’re looking for a quicker exit from the store. Turns out, the reason behind this special line is helpful for a segment of their customers who need things to not be such a maddening hubbub.

This is the perfect fix for those customers who might not be able to process the quick checkout procedure, leaving those pressed for time in line behind them feeling stressed out.

No one wants to be the person who holds up the line, so this slow lane concept at the supermarket chain Tesco in Scotland gives people the time they need, plus they give fair warning to others that are in a hurry that this might not be the line for them.

The concept is especially well-received for patrons who have memory loss and dementia as the whole checkout process can be challenging and impatient shoppers in the line behind them can cause additional stress. The checkout lane is also helpful for people with autism or social anxiety, or shoppers who have small children in tow.

The Tesco “relaxed checkout lane” allows those in line to take their time, ask questions of the cashier as necessary, and not feel like they’re slowing down anyone behind them.

Wendy Menzies, a dementia advisor for Alzheimer Scotland, developed the concept when visiting the store to deliver a dementia awareness seminar. One of the employees recommended a space for those who needed a more relaxed pace, as Menzies explained to Today: “It can help take some of the pressure off and hopefully then it will encourage people to still go out and about and participate in things that they’ve always done.”

The special lane has certain days and hours it’s opened, staffed by cashiers trained by Alzheimer Scotland. A sign for the lane clearly explains that the area may take a little longer so that people are fully aware:

“RELAXED CHECKOUT. Feel free to take as long as you need to go through this checkout today. Please be aware that you may experience a wait to complete your transaction. Thank you.”

Most people commenting on the BBC Scotland News Facebook post covering the slow lane idea were in favor of it, with one person noting: “Love this! I just hate when individuals behind me invade my space. They are pushing forward, thinking that by ‘getting closer’ the line will move more quickly. Ugh. People are in such a hurry.”

Another commenter shared this perspective: “I’m always feeling hurried because I suffer from anxiety. I much prefer to be able to pack my bags at my own pace, without it being a sprint.”

One commenter added: “Good idea, many seniors are, through no fault of their own, slow so this is good for them and others who have problems and aren’t fast at moving like others.”