The Rising Trend of Self-Service Shopping in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, Self-service shopping is not only confined to supermarkets. Self-service payment has become increasingly prevalent, whether for groceries, meat at the butcher’s, school supplies, or a bouquet of roses. Sixty percent of Czechs shop from self-service machines at least once a week, and a quarter of the population has experience with unmanned stores, according to a survey by Ipsos for Global Payments and Visa.

“Self-service shopping is a trend of the future. It allows people to buy what they need at any time. It significantly reduces costs for businesses, making this sale beneficial for both parties,” said Michal Jareš, the head of Global Payments for the Czech Republic. Companies find self-service checkouts and machines cost-effective as they do not require as many employees.

The survey found that customers appreciate self-service shopping, primarily for the speed of service (60%) and their control over marking and purchasing (40%). Additionally, the fact that this type of service is available 24 hours a day is valued (33%).

Some customers prefer this method of shopping because it avoids contact with others. However, there are those who prefer the traditional checkout with staff. “Goods with a barcode are fine, but sometimes it’s hard to find the type of bread I buy at the self-service checkout. Also, queues sometimes form at self-service checkouts because of people who are not yet adept at using them,” said Tomáš from Vinohrady, Prague.

Self-service checkouts are becoming popular in some butcher shops. “We normally serve customers, but they pay for themselves at the self-service checkout. It also has the advantage that we do not have to remove our gloves, it is more hygienic,” pointed out Daniel Stříbrný, operator of a butcher shop in Louny.

The popularity of self-service checkouts in the Czech Republic is also increasing, according to Jiří Mareček, spokesperson for Albert stores. “More and more customers are using them regularly. They are a sought-after way to take care of everything calmly and at your own pace, especially for smaller purchases. The second reason for their popularity and increased use is growing availability and technical perfection,” he said, adding that most chain stores are now equipped with self-service checkouts.