Thread regarding Safeway Inc. layoffs

Advertise that Safeway still has cashiers

You know, with Walmart basically trying to get rid of cashiers, Safeway should advertise the fact that they still have actual people to help the customer check out.

I can see it now, “Low prices AND customer service. At Safeway WE don’t make you check yourself out.”

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Post ID: @OP+XBzRNv6

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But AI learns. And will learn.

Post ID: @bcke+XBzRNv6

The Safeway in Emeryville, CA has self check out.

Also, Safeway has a VP who is basically a Thomas Kurian wannabe. For those you don't know, Thomas Kurian used to be in charge of the cloud division at Oracle. He is know in charge of the cloud division at Google. Anyways, the wannabe Thomas Kurian gave this extensive interview about how Safeway is using the Microsoft Azure cloud to improve things. That really isn't a big deal. What was kind of interesting was that guy mention that he wanted to have Safeway leverage Azure AI in order to improve the "out of stock" count in the warehouse.

This is a disaster waiting to happen because Safeway is starting to use AI on the retail portal in order to auto schedule Checkers and Utility Clerks. And in the process, they eliminated a person who is involved in writing the weekly schedule. This in turn has resulted in a bunch of associates b--ching about how the management doesn't know how to schedule and just calling in sick. Because, well, AI at its core doesn't account for the "human factor". Instead, it just blindly follows a set of algorithms based on partial differential equations and linear matrices.

The warehouse is next!

Post ID: @alez+XBzRNv6

Where I live, I shop between Walmart and Reasors. Reasors cashiers are a positive experience. Walmart cashiers are not. Self-checkout is definitely physically slower but is much faster when you account for the time lost standing in line waiting for the cashier. We don’t have Safeway so cannot comment on that experience. Regardless, cashier or no cashier will never factor in my decision process as to where to shop and I would never pay extra for that option. Losing cashiers is actually a revenue loss for most stores because of declining sales on National Enquirers and Slim Jims.

Post ID: @1ifn+XBzRNv6

Most folks that I talk to hate self checkout. This is especially true for mothers with younger kids who can’t leave them home to shop.

Also everywhere I’ve shopped, customers are way slower checking out than cashiers.

I disagree on cashiers not being customer service. They’re an opportunity every time a customer comes in the store to check in on the customer experience. It’s just that the industry uses them wrong for the most part. Your cashiers should be brand ambassadors. If they were coached on how to welcome customers and how to be gracious, they could drive incredible brand loyalty.

Look at what chic film did with their cashiers. It’s a fast food chain that is beloved just because of a chicken sandwich and teaching teenagers to say “How may I serve you?” and “My Pleasure.”

If a fast food chain can teach some teenagers to do it, a retail chain can certainly do it.

Post ID: @1aeg+XBzRNv6

I love the self-checkout. Now that they have the long ones with the conveyors. I can organize better and feel less stress because I can unload my cart at my pace. I admit produce was a challenge at first but now that I know how it works, I love it. Cashiers make long lines and lots of waiting. I don’t like the self-checks like Home Depot that weigh everything. Very small and very large items make that awkward. Walmart started out that way but got rid of it. Cashiers are not customer service. People in the aisles helping are customer service.

Post ID: @gig+XBzRNv6

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