Wanting to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness in the community, Dutch supermarket Jumbo is to open two hundred “Kletskassa’s” for people who are not in a hurry and would “like to have a chat” at the checkout.
A friendly chat at the checkout can be the human connection somebody needs that day
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo will open two hundred new so-called chat cash registers next year. These are cash registers for people who are not in a hurry and would “like to have a chat” at the checkout, according to the supermarket chain.
There are already a few Kletskassa’s, including in Vlijmen in Brabant, and now another in Udenhout, also in Brabant. The first chat checkout was opened in the summer of 2019. According to Jumbo, that was a great success and “the time is right” to further expand the concept. Jumbo also looks at areas where loneliness is common.
Opening of the Kletskassa in Udenhout by Jumbo customer Annie Kuijpers. With Tilburg alderman Rolph Dols and Colette Cloosterman – van Eerd, CCO of Jumbo. Source: Jumbo.com
many jumbo cashiers like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa
The idea for the Kletskassa originated more than two years ago and in the summer of 2019 the first kletskassa was opened in Vlijmen in Brabant. This resulted in many positive reactions from customers.
Now, say Jumbo, is the time to expand this initiative further. By this time next year, there will be Chat Points in 200 stores across the country where people can go for a chat. When choosing the stores, areas where loneliness is a major factor are carefully considered.
Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, CCO of Jumbo and the driving force behind the National Coalition against Loneliness, is closely involved in the initiative:
“Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain, we are at the heart of society. Our stores are an important meeting place for many people and we want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness. We do this in various ways, including our Kletskassa’s.
“We are proud that many of our cashiers like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa. They support the initiative and want to help people to make real contact with them out of genuine interest. It is a small gesture, but very valuable, especially in a world that is digitising and getting faster and faster.”
Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain, Jumbo is at the heart of society. Their stores are an important meeting place for many people and the company say they want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness. Source: Jumbo.com
A Local approach to loneliness
Loneliness is a growing problem in society. To combat this problem, Jumbo is a member of the National Coalition against Loneliness, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the context of the One against loneliness action program.
With the National Coalition, companies, social organisations and government institutions are joining forces to break through loneliness. In addition to the Kletskassa’s, Jumbo has various other initiatives to establish personal contact between people.
Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd: “At Jumbo we want to be more than just a place where you do your shopping. For example, we help our stores by means of a manual to signal loneliness among customers and to set up local initiatives. This handbook has been drawn up in close collaboration with Eén tegen eenzaamheid (One Against Loneliness). Several stores also have a chat corner where customers can grab a nice cup of coffee and chat with neighbours.”
Introducing the Chat Checkout As far as we know, this could very well be the world’s first “Chat Checkout”. People who would like to have a little chat, can take this special checkout where things may take a bit more time, as the cashier makes time for some chit chat. Source: Jumbo.nl
1-in-10 Dutch people feel very lonely and as many as 4-in-10 experience some degree of loneliness
The problems surrounding loneliness have worsened during the corona pandemic, reported the Luisterlijn, the Netherlands’ mental health organisation, among others. That telephone help service had a record number of conversations with people who were worried about something last year. This was mainly due to the lockdowns, which made people feel more depressed.
Researchers from Maastricht University previously calculated that severe loneliness costs society €2 billion in extra care. According to the university, one in ten Dutch people feel seriously or very lonely and as many as four in ten Dutch people experience some degree of loneliness.
The umbrella organisation of supermarkets Central Bureau for Food Trade (CBL) says that the increase in self-scanning checkouts means less crowds at regular checkouts. “That gives room for a chat,” said a spokesperson.
Jumbo is a member of the National Coalition against Loneliness, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). The Week against Loneliness starts on Thursday 30 September.
Jumbo cashier welcomes the first customer at the Kletskassa in Udenhout. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the apostrophe in the plural “Kletskassa’s”, remember it’s a Dutch word—it’s supposed to be there. ?? ? Source: Jumbo.com
This article was first published on BrightVibes on 30 September, 2021.
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