Coles has banned trolleys from some self-serve check-outs in select stores. Picture: iStock
Coles has banned trolleys from some self-serve check-outs in select stores. Picture: iStock

Outrage over Coles trolley ban

ONE of Australia's biggest grocery chains is facing mounting backlash after forbidding shopping trolleys from some check-outs.

The ban is being trialled in select stores, including Fountain Gate in Melbourne, after staff members in that store told shoppers trolleys were no longer welcome in the self-serve zone.

The move has angered many shoppers who claim they are being inconvenienced while paying.

Some have taken to social media to vent their frustrations, with one Facebook user describing the rule change as resulting in an "unpleasant paying experience".

Another woman, who recently had a hip operation, claimed the policy made it impossible to carry and pay for items.

Others say banning trolleys from assisted check-outs forces many customers to join regular checkout queues, creating longer waiting times for shoppers.

A Coles spokeswoman would not confirm which stores were trialling the policy, but stressed it was just a small number out of the 800-odd stores across the country.

She told the ban was designed to "ease congestion".

"Assisted check-outs are a preferred choice of checkout for many customers and offer convenience and efficiency in their shopping experience," the spokeswoman said.

"To improve service to customers and ease congestion, in a small number of stores we are accepting baskets only through the assisted check-outs.

"Team members are available to serve customers with trolleys in the main lane registers, and if there is not one vacant the store can open a register to assist customers with their shopping."

In response to some of the Facebook criticism about the Fountain Gate supermarket, a moderator of the Coles account confirmed a ban was in place in certain locations.

"We understand a speedy checkout experience is important to our customers and all of our stores are required to monitor weekly and daily customer volumes to ensure we have enough team members rostered on," the moderator posted online.

"Trolleys are usually not taken through our assisted check-outs to assist with customer flow … the bans on trolleys in our assisted check-outs are different store to store and can change depending on customer flows".

According to the Herald Sun, customers were told the new rule had been put in place in a bid to crackdown on theft.

The latest policy follows the controversial plastic bag ban, which made headlines earlier this year.

While the bag ban was welcomed by many as an attempt to address plastic waste, others complained about inconvenience caused by removing plastic bags from check-outs.

The backlash from the policy resulted in a series of backflips from the chain, which first banned the bags outright and then confirmed it would offer customers free plastic bags indefinitely, before a cut-off date for the complimentary bags was finally set.

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