The Meeting Place

How will Coles $1b cost-cutting affect you?


Coles has announce it will cut $1 billion in costs in the next four years, through increased technology and automation – and cutting jobs.

The New Daily reports that retailer claims the cost-cutting exercise will help it be more competitive with discount grocery market that will soon feature German chains Lidl and Kaufland.

Coles chief Steven Cain said the prospect of increasing competition meant the supermarket giant faced the toughest five years in its history.

Even maintaining market share would be an achievement, he said, as discount supermarkets grow in Australia, and online grocery sales continue to outstrip bricks and mortar stores.

“The outlook for traditional bricks and mortar supermarkets is sales densities could decline in the medium term if action isn’t taken,” said Mr Cain.

Coles’ also announced that 450 jobs will be cut and that “further reductions in manual operations” throughout stores and supply chain are to be expected along with the closure of “unprofitable” stores.

Do you happily use automated checkouts? Will seeing more automation in your store be good for you, or annoying?

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For a large shop I prefer the manned cash registers, and it is nice to be able to talk to the cashier. If the queues are long and I have only 2 or 3 items (very rarely) I can use the automatic system.  Have yet to hear a machine say "Good morning, how are you today" and I don't say "Have a good day" to the machine.

I much prefer a manned checkout especially if they have a trained person - not the slowest worker they can find in their employment.

I also like quality. I often shop at IGA because they have the products I want and the fruit and vegetables is so much fresher.

Last weekend when shopping in a totally automated Target I just thought to myself - why bother driving to the store. It made me feel rather numb and emotionless. At least if I buy online the postie is always happy to see me.

I prefer to speak to the checkout people and receive the "personal touch". Conversation is a healthy part of our daily lives and you can't talk to the self serve machines.

I talk to mine! At the automated checkouts you will hear me saying things like "Yes, I know", and "No, I won't forget to take my items".

I prefer manned checkouts despite knowing that automated checkouts are the thing  of the future. The supermarkets can easily understaff the manned checkouts, making them appear innefficient.

I will be using the supermarkets that open early and have manned checkouts, also the ones that display opening times on the internet during public holidays.

The lack of information about holiday trading hours is ridiculous, almost as if they expect to take the day off if they went out drinking the night before. There is a certain responsibility here to provide a service to the public, not have the public go begging all the time.

I refuse to use the automatic checkouts. I object to businesses cost shifting their work to their customers.

I do the same, but the supermarkets close counters in response.

I agree with that. Also, I always seem to need help when processing fruit & veg and thought to myself "why am I doing this" when by using the automated I am complicit in doing someone out of a job and help the store increase their profits for shareholders benefit

What makes me cranky is the was Coles AND Woolies stop stocking products and when you ring them they say -- they will report it -- but NEVER do you see it on the shelves again -- they take NO notice -- and I have had friends that want to see the same products on the shelves again as they used them all the time -- and also have compained -- but they have not bee put back on.

I agree PlanB Woolies are notorious for not having advertised goods in stock -- Not sold out just NOT stocked. Oh you can get it at a Woolies several Km's away -- what bloody good is that? 


totally agree....I wanted to buy a certain longer stocked...went to the opposition..they had it...bought 6 packets..enough to last me  2 years.

as for self service...ok if I have one or two items...any more it drives me insane...having to scan, then halfway through have to pack into my bags because not enough room to place any more items...then start scanning again...pack bags again...then have to fumble around in purse to get out my Flybuys card and any other offers they may have given me like triple points on a docket...then pay what is owed...then fumble again to put money back into purse.   now what I do is "take my time" and do not rush...if I am doing all this myself why should I be rushed.


Lately, however, I have given up using bags in the last few visits...I just toss everything back into the trolley and take it out to the car and pack it in large boxes in my boot or freezer box.  Have notice many others are now doing the same.

Yes Tanwin, I have been told the same -- that the articles I wanted were at a store 50 ks away from me 

Unless I have to (and sometimes you have to as there might only be one manned checkout and a lot of people like me lining up and I'm in a hurry) I won't use automated checkouts.
Also if we see the demise of the manned checkouts how slow will the line-ups be then with the huge trolley fulls?
I'm not in a town where Aldi is at the moment and forced to use Coles, Woolworths and I can't believe how slow the "getting through the checkout is!!! - in any form" 
I've been going to IGA just for the speed, recently. 
If it was me running Coles I would go the other way and put on MORE staff and increase CUSTOMER SERVICE.

i have NEVER used a self serve checkout,   and never will,    the amount i pay for groceries,   i want a bit of service,   as for AUDI,    i HATE the shop,   only go there in desperation,    your goods are almost thrown at you,  cause there is nowhere for them to go,   and i only have TWO hands,   so cant catch them all as they shove them through,    the staff are the unfriendliest i have struck anywhere,    never seen a smile from anyone there, i try to avoid the place,   

I refuse to use the autmated checkouts as well. I won't use them on the principal they are doing a real person out of a job. I have read that in 4 years there will be no checkouts, the mobile will be used to access your bank so you won't know what they are taking. What if there is an error in your bill you cannot talk to the phone to correct it if it is automated. I also use vouchers regular so won't be able to use them either. I use cash all the time as being on an aged pension with no other income I have to know how much I am spending. If I haven't any cash left in my purse then I don't buy anything until the pension comes in again. It's a very strict budget on the pension. I do not like the way we are going.

Yes, I use cash too terrib,  as if I go shopping with friends I often pay for their groceries with my C/C -- and they give me the cash as I get points on my card.   My C/C is always paid up b4 the due date in full -- and I always know what I have spent and I treat it like cash I do not spend any more than I know I can pay, but I figure that it is more secure than cash and very handy like when I needed a new car battery the other week -- 

A few months back,  my daughter rang,  and said she was taking me to CROWN,  to see A STAR IS BORN,    all well and good,    when we got to the theatre,   she produced her phone,   the tickets were on there,    i was gob smasmacked,    the attendant looked at her phone,   did something with hers,  [no idea what]    and we went in,    i was amazed,  

Cats - I believe they do the same at the airport. Show your phone to the booking clerk and then at the boarding area and all is done. I have never done this as I don't have that type of phone. How did you like the movie? I found it a little difficult understanding Bradley Cooper with his deep voice, but thoroughly enjoyed the movie. 

be prepared..we are all being "forced "into smart phones...atm's will be thing of the past as they are closing them down all over the country now as the younger generations do not carry for everything on their phones ( until the system crashes LOL)...I prefer cash as I know how much I am spending and when it is getting to end of week I may pull back if I am getting close to end of housekeeping money.

the younger generation just spend, spend, spend and have no idea apparently what they spend (so I saw someone say on telly last night)



Yes, this is the future of uour shopping experience

I have never used an ATM in my life as there is always a bank nearby -- and I always have some cash left over because of my Friends paying me back what they owed me from me buying their groceries on my C/C -- I note the banks are cutting down on their staff though.

But yes the cashless IS coming and I hate the thought of it -- but it is coming only because of                BIG BROTHER 

Not only self serve checkouts but when I go to nearest Coles in closest town - there is no longer a person to check you out of the car park. So several jobs gone there too as open 7 days etc all hours. 

This is not good enough. As we pay same or more for goods e buy.

Maybe we need to arrange a country wide stop this losing of jobs strike by buying big and then all not shopping for a week - and doing it until they get the message. 

Would it work? 

Despite complaining about non-existent stock and deleted brands my local Woolies refuses to open any of the long line of checkouts, soon after opening time on Thursdays, instead they make us line up then herd us, trolleys and all into the small 3 checkout area adjacent to the 'service' counter and its a crowded DISASTER. I cant imaging how mothers with kids manage.

Despite assurances from head office nothing changes so I am spending more at my local Foodland and at times Coles. I am sure Woolies are trying to piss us off to point where we WILL use the self serve just to get out of the place

I even had one arrogant manager when I complained about missing stock at Foodland Hackham SA to 'Go shop at Woolies' and I did.

The one thing these non-Automatic checkouts taught me is

... I was NOT meant to be a checkout chick

Perhaps once they automate them, like in Japan I would be happier to use them 

.... in the meantime give me proper human service.

Suze, exactly my thoughts. The self serve check outs are very poorly designed unless one has just a few items. I love your Japanese style.

Suze, exactly my thoughts. The self serve check outs are very poorly designed unless one has just a few items. I love your Japanese style.

That Jap style looks great but what about if you have a trolly -- I get a trolley as I can't carry a basket full of stuff

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