Dining & Wine

‘You can’t cheat?’ the Queen discovers self-checkout tills

As the longest-reigning living monarch, it might come as a surprise that the Queen has yet to use a supermarket self-service checkout.

As part of their 150th birthday this week, Sainsbury’s invited the Queen to visit a store, in which staff demonstrated how the checkouts work. 

“You can’t trick it? You can’t cheat?” she asked a bemused staff member.

Research by VoucherCodesPro suggests that £3.2bn worth of goods is stolen through self-service checkouts in UK supermarkets every year.

Her Majesty was visiting an 1860s style Sainsbury’s store as part of the supermarket’s celebrations, which included a pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden. 

The exhibition recreated items from one of the original Sainsbury’s stores, which opened on London’s Drury Lane in 1869 and sold butter, milk and cheese. 

During her visit, the Queen studied an original ration book from the Second World War and shared her own experiences of food shortages during this period. 

She commented that rations were “very meagre”, adding that sweets were only available occasionally as “a Sunday treat”, adding that her family were lucky to have a farm. 

While some spectators were hopeful that her Majesty would dress in Sainsbury’s brand colours for the occasion, she chose to wear a light green coat for her visit, where she was greeted by Lord Sainsbury, a descendant of John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury who founded the supermarket giant. 

Pictures were shared on social media detailing the Queen’s tour, although some felt that Sainsbury’s wouldn’t have been the royal’s first choice for grocery shopping: 

Others were critical about the divisive checkouts:

Some were distracted by the discovery that another Queen was in town – who was also a Sainsbury’s fan.

The revelation that Rihanna has been living in London for a year delighted many fans, particularly as pictures emerged of her with a Sainsbury’s bag for life.

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