I saw that a few months ago and thought it was a nice touch. It's true that the Dutch grocery stores have been coming to the Belgian market these last few years, and to be competitive in our already saturated market (and counter the difficulty in finding staff to man the checkout counters) they invested heavily in self-scan and self-checkout.
Personally (but I'm an IT guy, so I'm not really joe public) I prefer doing the self-scan (the kids love it) and the self-checkout, but I can understand that for some people, they prefer a more personal touch during their shopping.
The last 5 years we've seen that the big grocery chains with their big stores on the edge of the towns have been setting up a network of in-town small grocery shops. The independant shops can no longer compete with the buying power of the large concerns, so they let themselves be integrated in those networks. The idea is that more and more people living in towns don't have a car anymore and go around by bike. Singles don't go shopping for the next 2 weeks, they go multiple times a week to buy what they need at that time. The smaller grocery stores respond to that need.
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