This is called going against the grain. At a time when digitalization is in full swing and daily life is punctuated by urgency, the Cora d’Hornu has just opened “chatting” boxes, also known as “blabla” boxes. An unequivocal name that invites customers to take their time and discuss with the checkout hostesses, themselves looking for social contacts. A welcomed approach, which is unanimous among those who have already experienced it.
“We have modified our collection system in order to allow all customer profiles to find their way around”, explains Luc Janssens, director of Cora d’Hornu. “We have dedicated four checkout areas to papote, which guarantee more user-friendliness. They are intended for people who want to take their time, who need contact with the cashiers. We find there precisely our “star” cashiers, those who have easy contact. ”
“A brilliant idea”
Barely installed, these boxes have already found their audience. “We see that the biggest shopping carts pass through it and that the biggest turnover is recorded there. They meet a need, we have proof of that. And the public that meets there is not necessarily old. These are people who have the time or the desire to take the time”, insists the director again.
“I have just been shopping at Cora in Hornu… Little by little, I am becoming reconciled with this “Belgian-format hypermarket”. They had a brilliant idea of opening a “chat box” for people who aren’t stressed, who aren’t running around, who are smiling and who take the time to live. Very friendly and cheerful cashier. This is sorely lacking in other brands”, writes a user.
“The lady who was at this checkout at 11:30 a.m., if I was in charge of HR in distribution, I hire her immediately with a 25% raise because she retains customers who, a priori, are not in favor of retail,” he continues. Comments shared by other customers, who have also recounted their experience with these new kinds of boxes, which currently only exist on the Hornu site.
In addition to more “traditional” checkouts
It should be noted that these chat rooms do not replace more traditional checkouts. “They are in addition to those managed by cashiers in the traditional way and to self-scanning systems. People who are looking for a tiny bit of contact or those who are not looking for it at all and want to go as fast as possible can therefore be satisfied. We analyze the profiles of our customers a lot in order to meet their expectations. ”
For once, the bet seems won.