A recent press release issued by Woolworths indicated that receipts are now optional for purchases under $30 in all of their Woolworths stores across Australia. After a month long trial it was found that 48 percent of customers declined a receipt at checkouts whilst 57 percent declined a receipt at the self-serve kiosks.
The claims are that the non-printing of receipts will save consumers approx 400 hours of wait time per year and will save 2kms of receipt paper weekly. I doubt that the message is about saving paper because look at all of that paper that is used to send printed grocery catalogues out to most Australian households each week. Also the savings in time cant be justified as a receipt only takes few second seconds to print so throw in a price check or supervisor intervention at a self-serve kiosk and that time is easily lost. So what could be the real intention.
Have you ever made a purchase and found a discrepancy in your transaction when looking back through the receipt? In store specials are a classic example of being charged full price when the shelf price has been discounted. Everyone should check their receipt and scan it for obvious errors such as over charging and double scans as most people don't pay a lot of attention during the checkout process. This is made even harder when you take the kids for a trip to the supermarket as they can be areal distraction at the checkout.
So given that you still have a choice I'd recommend spending a few more seconds in the store and request a receipt so that you have something to refer back to. If you are keeping a personal price book then you have some proof of what prices you have paid. At the very least you'll still get to check your shopper dockets for bargains, but that business is also at risk from such a change in behaviour. Woolworths may be the first to introduce this but you can bet the other large chains are not too far behind.
Have you say in the comments below.