Supermarket shopping has become so stressful | BBC Radio Solent's Lou Hannan

I’ve fulfilled a lifelong ambition… I’m now a smart shopper!

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 10:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 10:31 am
Lou Hannan has mastered the smart shop!

It’s perhaps not worthy of the breaking news status I’m trying to give it, but hey, we’re still in semi-lockdown and any exciting life developments are a bit thin on the ground.

The little hand-held scanning device has really revolutionised my shopping experience.

Because I’m shopping for myself and my mum, I’ve been finding the weekly supermarket visits increasingly stressful.

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First, there’s the drive into the car park. I find myself doing a meerkat-type move peering through the windscreen to see how long the queue of shoppers is as I also find a suitable space.

Then comes the trolley decision: do I collect one from a bay and wheel it to the queue or wait until I’m about to enter the shop, get a trolley, disinfect the handle and hold up the queue?

You spend your walk around scouring the shopping list trying to make sure you haven’t missed anything stocked in the aisle you’re travelling down because, you end up going round the one-way system in the wrong direction! How did something we took for granted suddenly become so stressful?

Then we see the Corona Trolley Nudge. You know what I mean – you get to the end of an aisle and tentatively push the trolley’s nose out whilst looking left and right before you proceed like you’re learning the green cross code all over again. As you move out, the person in the next aisle is doing the same thing as you both beat a hasty retreat.

However, the last, most stressful bit of finding a checkout with fewer than 400 people queuing as you tip everything out onto the conveyor belt and then leap into action packing items away at the speed of light has vanished, all because of the little hand-held scanning device.

I know this isn’t a new invention but the technology is radical to me. I’ve been very suspicious of them but now, clutching a Doctor Who style device while wandering around scanning barcodes, I can honestly say it made my shopping experience almost pleasurable. Clearly I had to have the whole process demonstrated and explained to me by someone young enough to be my child but I now finally feel down with the kids!

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