Jumbo is to opens ‘chat checkouts’, aimed at combating loneliness among the elderly. The first ‘Kletskassa’ (chat checkout) was opened in 2019 in Vlijmen in Brabant and allows clients to stop for a chat rather than pay for their shopping as quickly as possible. Such is the popularity of the initiative that by this time next year, the Dutch chain aims to have rolled out the checkouts to 200 stores across the country, according to Dutchnews.nl.
Jumbo CCO Colette Cloosterman-Van Eerd said: ‘Many people, the elderly in particular, can feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain we have a central role in society. Our shops are a meeting place and that means we can do something to combat loneliness. The Kletskassa is just one of the things we can do.’
The supermarket chat checkout is part of a health ministry programme to combat loneliness. The Netherlands has some 1.3 million people over the age of 75, over half of whom have said they regularly feel lonely. The initiative is aimed at picking up the signs of loneliness among the elderly early and inviting companies, organisations and local councils to work together to come up with creative solutions, such as the chat till.