A TikTok user has amazed fellow Aussies when he revealed Woolworths’ new futuristic shopping tool.
The TikToker, @faisalxafar, caused many jaws to drop when he posted a video to the platform showing Woolworths’ new self-service Pick Up locker in action.
“Great way to pick up your groceries during the #lockdown2021, do your online ordering from Woolies,” the Aussie user captioned the video.
In the clip, which looks like it belongs in a Blade Runner film, the shopper collects his groceries at the touch of a button by following the simple prompts on the screen at the Pick Up locker at his local Woolies, before taking his groceries at the collection window.
The video has since clocked up over 95,000 views, with Aussie shoppers voicing their astonishment at the latest addition to Woolworths’ growing arsenal of contactless delivery tools.
“What is this magic? This is so cool,” wrote one user in response.
Another bewildered user wrote: “Looks like that’s the permanent future.”
It was also described as “epic”, “handy” and even “sorcery” by impressed users.
However, not all commentators were as excited by Woolworths’ latest self-service pick up option as others.
Some users voiced concerns about potential job loss to technology, while others alleged the lockers were prone to breaking.
“Good way to ruin thousands of supermarket worker’s jobs,” one user wrote.
“It’s a great idea...shame they break all the time,” wrote another commentator.
Woolworths aim to reduce ‘congestion in stores’
Woolworths’ self-service Pick Up lockers come as one of several solutions the supermarket has devised as part of their plan to reduce time spent “browsing” in stores, as Covid continues to spread throughout the community in Greater Sydney.
"We’re currently trialling self-service Pick Up lockers in four NSW stores as demand for online shopping continues to grow,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
“The technology has the potential to save our customers time and effort as well as reducing congestion in stores during popular collection periods,” the spokesperson said.
How the Woolworths Pick Up lockers work
The Pick Up shopping tool works by allowing customers to place an online order and selecting a pick-up time.
The customers are then sent a unique passcode, which they enter upon driving to the locker and collect their order at their allocated personal locker.
The spokesperson said that the temperature-controlled lockers are currently installed at four stores in NSW: Granville, Spring Farm, Casula - all in Sydney's west and south west and Vincentia - on the South Coast.
Each of the lockers can hold dozens of orders at a time to allow customers to quickly collect their online order from the carpark without having to enter the store.
However, oversized and restricted items, such as cigarettes, are not available using this tool and will need to be purchased in-store.
As to whether the lockers will be a permanent fixture outside stores, Woolworths say that is up to their customers.
“We'll continue to listen to the feedback from our customers and team members on the trials before determining our next steps with the lockers,” the Woolworths spokesperson said.
Woolworths introduces ‘Quiet Hour’
Woolworths is constantly trialling new shopping initiatives for customers and one of their more successful trials include the introduction of Quiet Hour, which was rolled out nationwide earlier this year.
Partnering with Autism Spectrum Australia, Woolworths designed their “low sensory” shopping hour to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for those with specific needs, such as autism and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Quiet Hour, which also exists at Coles, runs from 10.30am to 11.30am throughout stores every Tuesday and was an initiative that was first developed in conjunction with disability service providers at Life Without Barriers in a series of trials.
The initiative has been praised by Life Without Barriers Chief Executive Claire Robbs, who said: “This Woolworths initiative opens up grocery shopping to people who have different accessibility needs like sensitivities to bright lights, noises, and overstimulation.”
"People should not be restricted to taking part in their community because of their disability and Woolworths is now ensuring all shoppers are welcome and able to do the things many of us simply take for granted,” Ms Robbs said.
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