Stafless grocery stores are getting more and more widespread in Western Europe, but could similar stores open in Hungary in the future when Hungarians do not really like self-service checkouts?
Pénzcentrum.hu scooped up a great demonstration from a Hungarian TikTok user living in Germany about a staffless grocery store. The site also analyses the chances of similar shops spreading to Hungary.
Using a staffless shop
Amazon and Saturday Night Live made a great sketch about the surreality of such shops and how people could react to them. But when such a topic reaches the Hungarian TikTok scene, it all becomes a bit more real.
To enter such stores, people have to swipe their credit cards into the terminal next to the entrance. This way the system knows that a paying customer entered the shop.
Inside apart from the lack of staff, nothing seems different compared to a regular grocery store. In the middle of the store stands the cash desk, which is exactly like a self-service unit in any Hungarian shop. After scanning in the products and paying for them, the door automatically lets people exit.
To prevent shoplifting, apart from using CCTV cameras, the shelves have built-in scales, just like the self-service checkout units. Therefore, if something was taken from the shelf but was not confirmed for purchase, the shop’s security system will know it.
Is this a viable alternative in Hungary?
Pénzcentrum’s survey shows that at least half of the Hungarian population is not comfortable with self-service checkouts in regular stores. Alongside the more nuanced opinions, 40.95 percent of respondents said that they are not willing to use them, or they should even be banned.
Only 36.25 percent of the respondents said that they should be placed in every store or are happy to see them gaining more place in grocery stores.
Hungarian people are reluctant not to use cash, and one of their primary concerns with self-service checkouts is the mandatory use of electrical payment methods. This could severely hinder any plans in the near future to open such staffless grocery stores.