March 12, 2019 6:00 am
Updated: March 14, 2019 8:01 am

Grant Park Shoppers Drug Mart urged customers to use self-checkout rather than cashiers

WATCH: Shoppers at the Winnipeg drug store were told cashiers would handle only cash transactions. The parent company said it was a miscommunication.

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Customers at a Grant Park drugstore say they were told they couldn’t use the cashier lane if they were paying with plastic.

Lynda Chaikowski said she was recently at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Grant Park Shopping Centre when she went to pay for her goods. When she went up to the cashier, she claims she was told she had to use a self-checkout machine unless she was paying with cash.

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“They just said that was something they were instituting, I guess, and they wanted people to use that instead of the cash, but I like talking to people. I don’t want to talk to a machine,” she said.

READ MORE: Shoppers Drug Mart to shrink hours at 24-hour stores in Winnipeg

Richard McBride told Global News the same thing happened to him at the same location.

“When I went to go through the cash register, I was told by the cashier at the cash register counter and the Manager that if I was using debit or credit card that Shoppers required me to use the self serve terminal,” he said.

“They refused to allow me to go to the cashier and have her ring up my purchases. The only exception is if I was paying by cash, buying stamps or lottery. I was advised that this policy came down from Shoppers’ Head Office.”

McBride said the area contains numerous condos and apartments, with a high ratio of seniors.

“I have an 88-year-old mother in law who has issues with her wrists when lifting items. She should not to have to use a self serve or have to embarrass herself asking for help because of this new policy.”

Others, however, think the switch to self-serve checkouts is inevitable.

“I think it’s the way of the future and the way we should do things,” said another customer outside the store.

READ MORE: Amazon opens automated supermarket, spelling doom for retail cashiers

Global News reached out to Loblaws, which said it was all a misunderstanding.

“In some stores, customers paying with credit or debit have the option to use self-checkouts,” senior director Catherine Thomas wrote in a statement.

“However, if a customer prefers to use a regular checkout, they certainly have that choice … There has been some confusion around checkout procedures at a Winnipeg location. We have followed up with the store to ensure clarity on these policies.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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