Who would have thought that a long checkout line at the grocery store could be helping people to not be depressed? Most of us get grumpy at the thought of long lines, but one grocery chain is encouraging it, and here's the amazing reason why.
Not many Americans expect to find comfort and emotional support at the checkout line in the grocery store. In fact, the very idea of lingering longer than absolutely necessary in the local big-box grocery produces anxiety for most. Hence, the success of pick-up and delivery services for groceries. We in the U.S.A. like to move fast and receive fast service.
Alas, there may be another way to do things.
It's widely accepted that pandemic-related quarantines have taken a toll on the mental health of people all around the world. But, you may not know that, according to one study, folks in the Netherlands are the least likely in comparison to ten other "high-income" countries to seek help from a professional in times of mental distress.
Perhaps, the Netherlands' plan to combat loneliness among its older population has the added benefit of serving those that may not readily reach out for help. Here's what the Dutch are doing.
Checkout Line At The Grocery Store For Seniors
1.3 million people in the Netherlands are over the age of 75. In response to their government's "One Against Loneliness Campaign," the grocery store Jumbo has established checkout lines for those who aren't worried about moving fast and keeping conversations short.
"Kletskassa" is the Dutch word for "chat checkout," which is expected to be available in 200 Jumbo groceries within the year. Here, customers are invited-nay, encouraged-to take their time and visit while, and perhaps after, checking out.
Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd is Jumbo’s CCO and a leader of her country's National Coalition Against Loneliness. Colette considers Jumbo, a family business and grocery store chain, to be key to their communities. And, while we here in the states tend to stock up, many Europeans shop almost daily for smaller orders. Those frequent visits may allow shoppers and store staff to connect more easily, too.
"Our stores are an important meeting place for many people and we want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness," shared Colette. "We are proud that many of our cashiers like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa."
Making A Difference
Jumbo is making a big impact! What seems so simple in thought and deed represents an innovative approach to business. Instead of moving fast and getting customers though, the “chat” checkout line at the grocery store provides a space for taking time and talking, smiling, and sharing. That's pretty cool!
Good for the Netherlands for identifying and addressing a problem! Good for Jumbo for figuring out a way to help!
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"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," James 1:19
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h/t: Good News Network
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/gpointstudio