Tesco introduces relaxed checkout lane for shoppers with dementia

Tesco has eased the worries of customers who want to “take things a little easier” by providing extra time in the till. The UK’s biggest supermarket chain has introduced relaxed supermarket checkout scheme in Scotland for the first time. Tesco has introduced a pilot scheme in its supermarket store in the town of Forres, Moray. People with social anxiety issues- elders with Alzheimer’s, dementia,  autism or any depression related issues could use the new relaxed lane, where they could spend little extra time to chat with the cashier.

A sign at the checkout reads: “Feel free to take as long as you need to go through this checkout today. “Please be aware that you may experience a wait to complete your transaction. Thank you.” The program was developed by Kerry Speed, a community champion at the supermarket. Alzheimer Scotland will provide Tesco staffs training to handle customers with a medical condition. The lane would be open to other shoppers as well.

Kerry Speed said: “Our new relaxed checkout is open to all. “Whether a customer has a medical condition which requires them to take things a little easier, or they value an extra couple of minutes to chat to their checkout advisor, we want them to be confident they can shop at their own pace.

“It was highlighted to me that people living with dementia can feel under pressure when they reach the checkout, and it struck me that this could be true for others as well. “Early feedback from customers has been very positive. Although it’s a simple gesture, we hope this will make a difference to our customers’ shopping experiences.”

Wendy Menzies, Dementia Advisor at Alzheimer Scotland, said: “As part of our ongoing Dementia Friendly Community work we engage with many businesses and workplace organisations both nationally and locally. “We have supported the local Tesco team at Forres to help raise awareness of dementia and the steps they can take to help make a difference to the lives of people with the condition in the Forres area. “During our discussions with staff we have looked at ways to create a dementia friendly environment on the shop floor. “We welcome this new pilot scheme which will help people with dementia to feel confident in continuing to shop independently in their local community for longer.”