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Supermarket Spy.

Posted by Big John on April 16, 2011

In the past I often found that a visit to my local Sainsbury’s stimulated my desire to blog. In fact, no less that twentyone of my old posts refer to the supermarket chain in one way or another, my favourites being those that feature the ‘trolley’ (cart) and the idiots in charge of them.

Now it would seem that a new type of trolley is being tested in one of Sainsbury’s stores. Nicknamed the “Big Brother Trolley” it spies on you as you shop.  As if we don’t have enough bloody devices tracking us as it is !  .. ‘CCTV’ … ‘satnavs’ … ‘speed cameras’ .. etc. all keep an eye on our every move. 

Now along comes something that will know how and why we choose our baked beans. Our ‘loyalty cards’ already tell the supermarket bosses which brand we put on our toast on a regular basis. The information gathered from these mobile scanners can determine store layouts and the positioning of products on shelves.

If these ‘hi-tech’ carts work as well as their do-it-yourself check-outs I fear that the store’s shelves will soon be full of ‘bog-offs’ selected by…

…  the local bag lady.


2 Responses to “Supermarket Spy.”

  1. Grannymar said

    I heard about those trolleys on the radio. If the ‘sat-nav’ element of them locate the trolleys in a local river, will they be programmed to retrieve them?

  2. Some supermarket trolleys did seem to feel the urge to travel and I find them all over the city in the most unlikely places, serving the most unlikely uses – if decorating a corner of the park can be described as a “use”.

    I also see them on the move: they are quite popular with those bag ladies and bag gentlemen in the fortunate position of having accumulated a large collection of possessions. Similarly, I saw a railway station trolley being used in the same manner a couple of days ago. The mobile fraternity possibly consider the permanent hire of a trolly to be a £1 well spent.

    Personally, I have no problem with loyalty cards. I may be naive but I do not see how knowledge of my pattern of purchases impinges on my privacy or my rights and freedoms. We keep the credit (such as it is) on our Nectar cards throughout the year and then redeem the lot on our last shop before Christmas. That reduces the bill nicely.

    If position-aware trolleys make the layout of the store more convenient, then I’m all for it. I am not sure how your path up and down the aisles would be linked to you personally or what harm this would do, were it possible. I expect some conspiracy theorist or other will have the answers. They usually do.

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