The supermarket chain Jumbo is due to open 200 new “chat counters” in 2022 — cash registers for people who aren’t in a hurry and would like to have a little chat on their way out.
When we think of Jumbo, we think of a super convenient yellow supermarket. But it turns out the groceries chain is doing more than just providing for our dinner-time needs.
In Summer 2019, Jumbo opened its first “chat counters”. This initiative has been so successful that the supermarket chain is now set to open 200 more of these counters next year. These will be opened in areas where loneliness is common, Nu.nl reports. The next chat cash register will open in Udenhout, Brabant.
A lonely year
Raise your hand if you’ve felt a little (or a lot) lonely at times over this past year. We sure have. 🙋♀️ 😔 It’s no secret that problems surrounding loneliness have worsened during the coronavirus crisis. The lockdowns resulted in the telephone help service receiving a record number of calls from people who felt depressed and worried.
In addition, the increase in self-scanning checkouts in the past few years has removed a necessary point of social contact and interaction for many people.
Loneliness costs €2 billion
Researchers from Maastricht University have previously calculated that severe loneliness costs society €2 billion in extra care. According to the university, one in ten Dutch people feels seriously lonely, while as many as four in ten Dutchies experience some degree of loneliness.
As a member of the National Coalition Against Loneliness, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Jumbo is trying to combat this. 👊
The Week Against Loneliness starts on Thursday, September 30 — so give a stranger a smile this week, because they might really need it.
What are your thoughts on Jumbo’s new initiative to combat loneliness? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: photosis/Depositphotos