Supermarket Implements “Extra-Slow Checkout”, Sales Increase by 10 Percent

A Japanese supermarket that implemented an extra-slow checkout where customers are never rushed recently reported a ten percent increase in sales.

Most supermarkets these days are constantly looking for ways to speed up the checkout process, and for good reason – with time being such a valuable commodity, many customers feel pressured by their peers to pack their groceries and pay as quickly as possible, so as not to hold up the line too long. Unfortunately, some people just can’t be that fast, either because of their age, various disabilities, or even being pregnant. Some of these individuals are often left feeling guilty about moving too slowly, so much so that they avoid going to the supermarket altogether. However, one supermarket in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture seems to have solved the problem with an extra-slow checkout register where people can spend upwards of 20 minutes without feeling pressured in any way.

You’ve probably encountered issues at a supermarket checkout at least once in your life and had to endure the scowling stares of the people waiting their turn in line, even though you hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Or maybe you were the person scowling in line. Anyway, this is a known issue, one that few supermarkets have actually bothered to even consider. But there are exceptions.

Asahi TV’s program Shuzo Matsuoka’s ‘Everyone Is Sunny’ recently featured a supermarket in Fukuoka Prefecture where an extra-slow checkout originally designed for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant women seems to have become very popular with shoppers who have feeling rushed. The experimental register has become so popular that the supermarket credits its implementation for a 10 percent increase in sales.

The extra-slow checkout was proposed by Ms. Abe Nana from the Alzheimer’s Disease Support Center in Fukuoka Prefecture who knew how frustrated and embarrassed elderly shoppers were with being rushed in line. She also knew that they couldn’t help it, so she proposed a tailor-made solution for them – a checkout where shoppers could count their money in peace, bag groceries at their own pace, and even chat with the cashier if they wanted to.

At the extra-slow checkout, there is no pressure. Shoppers can spend upwards of 20 minutes at the register, counting their change in peace, trading in products they no longer want or asking for information about promotions, payment options, or whatever else. The cashier never rushes customers, instead smiling at them and engaging in friendly banter.


The special checkout has made quite an impact on the supermarket’s bottom line. Some customers shop here on a regular basis now because they are no longer forced to experience the anxiety of having to be fast to not hold back the line, and sales have increased by about 10 percent. It’s unclear if the company plans to implement the extra-slow checkout at other venues, but online reactions to the show suggest that there is definitely a demand for it.

“It would be great if there were supermarkets like this near me,” one person commented.

“When we pursue efficiency at all costs, we forget the most important things,” someone else wrote.

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