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My Modern Met reports that in the Netherlands, the supermarket chain Jumbo has introduced something called Kletskassa, which translates into “chat checkout."  The idea is to create a slow-moving lane that will appeal to customers not in a hurry and who would like to be able to have a conversation with the checkout person.

The story notes that the move reflects a recognition that "loneliness is one of the main issues that affects senior citizens around the world, especially in urban settings where everything is fast paced and increasingly digitized … The best part of the Kletskassa is that it's not exclusive for senior citizens, and anyone whose day could improve by taking it slow and having a little chat is welcome."

The response to the Kletskassa since the first versions were unveiled has been "so positive that the company made plans to create 200 of these lanes across the country. On top of that, Jumbo stores also introduced a 'chat corner,' where local residents can gather for a cup of coffee and a little conversation."

KC's View:

I love this, and think that maybe other retailers could adapt it.  The chat checkout doesn't have to be a permanent fixture, just one that opens at the right time, providing a lovely service to people who will appreciate it.  It all goes back to being essential, a word and approach that can be defined in many ways.