It’s been about 5 years since I lived in Australia.
I was very surprised when I first shopped in Australia. In Japan, when you buy food, you either put a shopping cart on the cart or hold the shopping cart in your hand. Of course, when you leave the store, you will return the borrowed cart. There are many differences between Japan and Australia when you go shopping. In fact, carts are a substitute for cars in Australia. I’ll tell you what that means.
Basket and cart
In Australia, you drive when you shop. Many elderly people also drive. And when you enter the store, you will get a big cart or a shopping cart. The shopping cart is the same size as Japan.
However, the card is many times larger than Japan. In Japan, when you shop, you put things in the basket, which makes it heavy, so you carry the basket on the cart. In other words, the cart is for carrying the basket. In Australia, we put what we bought directly into the cart.
It may be easier to understand if you think of a Costco cart.
Cart can work as a car!?
You use it to go back!?
Most people come by car for shopping, but many elderly people who do not come by car take a taxi home. Also, there are many people who put what they bought in a cart and go near their house.
Therefore, you may see carts in the city. Should it be left behind or left unattended?
Everybody loves carts!
When I came to Australia on a working holiday, I wondered, “Why are there cards in town?” However, I learned its practicality while living.
When I was working holiday, I didn’t have money and I didn’t have a car. When I bought a lot of ingredients and home appliances such as electric fans, it was difficult to bring them home. At that time, I tried using the cart once. I felt “how easy it is”, and after that I became a captive of the cart.
You are supposed to bring back the cart
I think many Australians basically want to have fun. Therefore, it seems that there are many people who do not want to bring heavy luggage home, so they carry it in a cart and take it home.
There is no such thing as being careful when leaving the store. Many people leave the store and carry their luggage on the cart to the car, so it is a common sight to put the product on the cart and go out of the store. Of course, there is also a place to return the cart in the parking lot.
It creates the troubles, too
Of course, since it is assumed that you will return it on your own initiative, there are no staff and there are many carts scattered around the parking lot. Probably because it’s awkward to return, after packing your shopping bag in your car, you leave it out of the way of other cars.
When I tried to park my car before, I was about to hit a cart that had been left in the parking lot. It was good because it was before the collision, but I was very impatient.
Part timers are to collect them
From the Japanese sense of returning what you borrowed, you may not even believe that you can take it outside the store. When it comes to who sorts out the cards scattered in the parking lot, it seems that a man like a student part-time job collects them and returns them to the store.
In the city, the general public can call the collection company and say, “I have a cart here, so I’ll do something about it.” However, it seems that a company specializing in collection goes around the city on a regular basis.
Cashers in Australia
Long conveyor belt
When you shop and pay, you will find that there are two types of cashiers. Instead of taking out the basket as it is like in Japan, the cash register is like a long conveyor belt.
Put all the goods there. There is a tag to separate it from the one in front of you and yours, and to distinguish yours from those behind you.
I think Australian families spend twice or three times as much shopping as ordinary Japanese households. Therefore, you may not be able to put everything you buy on the conveyor belt.
Therefore, the cashier scans the products by hand and moves the belt conveyor with the foot switch at his feet to move the products that the customer bought. The clerk will put the bag in.
The other is self-checkout. You scan the barcode of the item yourself, pack it yourself, and pay for it. Of course, there is a clerk standing there to monitor, and if you have any problems, you can get help.
For fruits such as oranges and grapes, there are various systems, such as sold by piece or by weight. In that case, press the button of the corresponding fruit, enter the number, and the machine will weigh it. Even if it is the same orange, the price will be different if the selling company is different. In such a case, there are some orange product buttons, and the button to select depends on the type.
If you press the wrong seller’s button, you may see a different price than you expected. In some cases it may be expensive or cheap. Self-checkout machines do not have the ability to keep track of the fruit vendor. The staff doesn’t seem to look in that much detail either.
There are a lot of differences
You can see that the amount of money you buy when shopping is different between Japan and Australia, but the system is also very different. Alcohol is not sold at supermarkets because alcohol can only be sold by qualified people. If you want to buy liquor, you have to go to a liquor specialty store. It is usually close to the supermarket.
Regarding cash registers, I think that self-checkout was made to reduce labor costs, but there are still many unclear points about the machine, and I think it is possible to cheat the amount.
In fact, I’ve heard from acquaintances that even the same beef has a slightly different price depending on the weight, so I replaced it with a cheaper barcode and used a self-checkout to cancel and pay. I think it’s a crime, but you can do that. As a Japanese person, there are still some drawbacks to the Australian shopping style.