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Friday 11 April 2003

Its fast track time at Sainsburys! [houmous]

Its fast track time at Sainsburys!
I popped into Sainsbury's to get some milk earlier this week and got accosted by a 'young person' trying to get to me so sign up for fast track shopping. This is basically an arrangement whereby you do the cashiers job for them by scanning your shopping as you go round the store thereby saving time at the queue on one of the special 'fast track' checkouts. You simply give them the scanning instrument (more on that in a minute) and they look at the total and charge you. How do they know you scanned everything in the trolley? (more on that in a min also)
Anyway attracted by the five pound voucher for doing so I duly joined the queue to present my Nectar card, a completed app form and, after undertaking my induction course was presented with my processed nectar card and shown to the 'Gun Bank' - and this is really what this post is all about! The 'Gun Bank' is a wall of about 40 guns all neatly sitting in their own little semi open pods with a soft white neon glow coming from each of them. The best is yet to come though - when you swipe your nectar card a random gun suddenly starts to pulsate with a slow glowing light and the lock on the pod deactivated. 'puttttusss'- its great! Its like you are suddenly being called to arms in a Star Wars movie - Shopping has never been this much fun!
My first tip is to make sure your partner also registers and gets her/his own gun even if you are doing shopping together, enabling you to carry out your FPS fantasies, dodging in and out of freezer sections and hiding in canned foods.
And finally... how do they catch people who don't scan all the stuff in their trolley? Well the checkout hardware selects people at random to have their stuff checked. If you are found to have 'accidentally' missed some of your purchases, the machine notes this and will request your stuff is checked more regularly in future. If you caught twice it will always ask for your stuff to be scanned, thus negating the whole purpose of the exercise!
I haven't been back to Tesco's since!


  1. That's pretty smart, although I'd be a bit pissed if I'd scanned everything like a good scout and then got checked at the end. And if Ididn't get checked, then I'd wish I'd bunged an extra bottle of malt in the trolly. It's an evil system if you ask me!

  2. That's pretty cool for sure. I'd be more inclined to get down to Sainsburys if the scanners were like the laser things from Blake's 7 :) As it is, I tend to get all fresh fruit and veg from my local shops (which I reckon more people should do) and get all the tins, sauces and frozen stuff off online shopping (few big blogs on that awhile ago).
    Makes me think, why don't they make a proper FPS with built-in grocery ordering? That would be elite! Or maybe they could make a CS-like game and while you're buying your assault rifle and pistols you can quickly browse the breakfast cerials and toiletries.
    Over the course of a number of gaming rounds, you've actually set your entire shopping up. How cool would that be? :)

  3. Hopefully it wont go the same way as a safeway store not far away from me that has been trialing it for a year or two now - the machines are virtually always out of order...bah, modern technology.

  4. You mean you buggers actually GO to the shops, rather than ordering on the Net and getting stuff delivered? Bah! Technophobes!!

  5. Yeah Rick, my local Safeway at home has had the system for years but no-one uses it. Didn't realise it's because they are out of order all the time. I thought it was because the gun dispenser doesn't glow and go 'puttttusss'.
    Has anyone been to Argos recently? It 0wnz the catalogue shops. You can pre-reserve your item online from stock by any of local stores. You get a number and womble down to the shop. Old news. You get to the store and they have wall mounted touch screens to type your reservation number in (or start a new order from scratch), pop your Credit or Debit card and then proceed to the collection point. No dealing with spotty cashier scum for me! It's great, and even better cos in a skuffer shop like Argos, the majority of punters are cash paying vermin, who are queued up in a huge cattle-grid looking dejectedly at you as you saunter to the collection point.

  6. Hey, that's really cool. Argos certainly blended the whole online/catalog/bricks and mortar thing nicely. I like the fact you can order from the catalog and if there's something wrong you can just take it to shop and get it replaced/refunded.
    Mind you, I found they had no quibbles about swapping out a heater I ordered. Next day bloke turns up with a new one and takes old one away, sweet.

  7. Back on topic - my local Waitrose has the scanners, and we signed up - they are great. There is nothing in the world quite as satisfying as wheeling a whole trolley full of stuff past the queues, putting a card in a slot to pay, and walking out the door - 20 seconds from deciding you've got everything to leaving the shop, vs about 5 minutes using a till. I've still not been stopped to check, but I'm too honest to want to cheat them anyway. Well, apart from when they do something blatantly stupid, such as when they'd marked down a £10 lamb joint to 27p instead of £2.70 ... even if they had rescanned it, it would have agreed that I paid the right price :-)