Woolworths rolls out money-saving ‘solution’ to help shoppers stay ‘within their budget’

Nov 11, 2022
Woolworths unveils new upgrade. Source: Getty

Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced significant changes in a bid to help ease the cost of living pressures by assisting customers in keeping to their budgets.

In partnership with Artificially Intelligent (AI) tech company Tiliter, Woolworths will upgrade the analogue scales in the produce aisles to new digital ones.

The AI scales will allow shoppers to place loose fruit and vegetables to calculate exact costs before arriving at checkout.

The supermarket chain has already rolled out the upgrades to select stores across Australia to test the product, and will first arrive at Woolworths Crows Nest, Double Bay, Metro Park Sydney, and Norwest before heading to more stores across the nation in the next few months.

As reported by 7News, Woolworths’ Head of Business Solutions – Customer, Retail and Emerging Concepts, Sailesh Shankar said the scale upgrades had been designed with customer feedback in mind.

“As we continue our rollout of digital scales throughout the fresh produce area of some stores, we’re ready to take the next step,” Shankar said.

“We understand customers are looking to work within their budgets and hoping this solution can make it easier for them to do so.

“We’ll continue to listen closely to customer and team member feedback on the entire project over the coming months.”

Any assistance with sticking to a budget when it comes to the weekly grocery shop will surely be of benefit to over 60s after a recent report revealed that pensioners have been among the hardest hit by rising prices at the supermarket checkout. 

Following a comprehensive analysis of grocery prices across the country, Frugl Grocery Price Index found that annual grocery price inflation has risen to a record high of 9.49 per cent with the largest price increases being found in items such as dairy and eggs which saw an increase of 9.05  per cent and bread and bakery items at 4.94 per cent.

Alarmingly, the report found that older demographics are facing the steepest price rises both annually and quarterly, with Pensioners faced with a 15.31 per cent increase annually and 3.92 per cent rise quarterly in the cost of food.

“One conclusion is clear, our older generations are facing the highest price increases,” Managing Director and CEO of Frugl, Sean Smith said.

The grocery stores’ new AI scales aren’t the only way the company is embracing digitalisation, with their Scan&Go stores which rolled out at the height of the pandemic, the company was recently slammed for installing digital “information banners” that play video ads.

Shard to the online forum Reddit, the digital ads created a stir among shoppers.

“It’s hard enough to focus at the shops without being surrounded by more screens flashing ads at me trying to manipulate me into buying things I don’t need,” one person said.

“This non stop advertising is all a bit too much.”

“That’s some dystopian shit right there,” said another.

“This is a problem? Far out, IMO shopping centers/malls/supermeerkats/etc where goods are being sold are the only place where I don’t mind seeing advertising. Keep it out of every other media and medium, but this is literally the place for it,” someone countered.

“Yeah but so what? You’ll still be able to just buy things… it’s not like you are being forced to watch a 30 second ad for priority entry to Woolworths!”

“I find this less intrusive than those billboard ads in the middle of the footpath,” another said.



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