Retirement Life

"You can't cheat then?" Queen Elizabeth's hilarious reaction to self-serve checkouts

"You can't cheat then?" Queen Elizabeth's hilarious reaction to self-serve checkouts

Queen Elizabeth has popped into a supermarket and learnt how to use self-serve counters to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the British high street chain Sainsbury’s.

The Queen went to London’s Covent Garden to visit a pop-up replica of the original Sainsbury’s store, which was founded in 1869 and sold just three items – butter, eggs and milk.

She was greeted by Lord John Sainsbury, the great grandson of the supermarket chain’s founder John James Sainsbury, who showed her around and gave her an overview of the supermarket’s history and the popular trends among customers.

“Tastes have changed,” she said when she was told how the average basket’s content shifted from porridge and orange during the war years to avocados and ready-made meals today.

The 93-year-old monarch was also introduced to modern technology used in stores, such as self-service checkout and mobile phone payments.

“And you can’t trick it? You can’t cheat then?” she asked during a demonstration.

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Today, The Queen was taken back in time to Sainsbury’s stores from the past to celebrate the British retail chain’s 150th anniversary. The pop-up experience in London’s Covent Garden included a recreation of the very first store, founded by John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury on London’s Drury Lane in May 1869. It sold just butter, milk and eggs. Sainsbury’s 150th anniversary celebrations focus on the colleagues and customers who have helped shape the business over the years. Her Majesty met employees who have been involved in fundraising and volunteering in their local communities, and explored some of the technology which customers use today, including self-service tills. In the first image The Queen views a ration pack as presented by Lord and Lady Sainsbury and learns more about the work which was done with the government to develop the rationing process when goods were in short supply during the Second World War.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on May 22, 2019 at 7:26am PDT

When manager Damien Corcoran said the self-service counter is particularly popular amongst shoppers, she responded, “I’m sure they do – everybody wants to hurry.”

The Queen also met Sainsbury’s employees who dressed up as store clerks from the era of the supermarket’s first store.

She concluded the visit by cutting a birthday cake baked by Claire Ptak, who also created Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s wedding cake.