Shops with excessive tannoy announcements

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Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2107
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

Popped in B&M over the Christmas holidays and in the time it took me to find and buy 3 items from the DIY aisle I counted 16 store announcement, it was almost constant, more than you get at Kings Cross!

it's odd because they don't really sell any particularly high value items, it mystifies me what on earth is going on, is it just B&M (or our local store run by micromanaging tyrants) or are there other stores that still do this? can't say I go into many out of town stores these days, it's quite an amusing relic, but the first time I really noticed it.
Charlie Wells
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue 02 Nov, 2004 16.23
Location: Cambridgeshire

Dr Lobster* wrote: Tue 03 Jan, 2023 15.17 Popped in B&M over the Christmas holidays and in the time it took me to find and buy 3 items from the DIY isle, I counted 16 store announcement, it was almost constant, more than you get at Kings Cross!

it's odd because they don't really sell any particularly high value items, it mystifies me what on earth is going on, is it just B&M (or our local store run by micromanaging tyrants) or are there other stores that still do this? can't say I go into many out of town stores these days, it's quite an amusing relic, but the first time I really noticed it.
When I've been in B&M a lot of the tannoy announcements I've heard have been for staff to come to tills. At my local store the checkouts have short conveyor belts and people queue for each individual checkout. Competitors such as Wilko and The Range from memory have a single long queue for everyone, with them going to the next available checkout.

Additionally the lack of any self-service tills means that when it suddenly gets busy they rely more on multiskilled staff coming from the shopfloor/stores onto the tills. It's noticeable that since Covid both Wilko and Matalan have converted some of their existing checkouts into self-service, albeit card/contactless only.

When it comes to calling staff to tills I prefer Lidl's solution (can't remember if Aldi does the same). A till operator simply presses a button of which checkout is being opened, light comes on till number with an announcement for customers, followed by a call for the member of staff to come to that till. I think there's a similar button and announcement for when a supervisor/manager is required. At least that makes the announcements more consistent and less shouty.
"If ass holes could fly then this place would be an airport."
all new Phil
Posts: 1978
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

In my new-ish place of work, the tannoy is avoided as much as possible with communication done over headsets instead. I think this is a fairly recent thing.
bilky asko
Posts: 1416
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

The Lidl system is particularly pleasant because the announcements are pre-recorded and high quality - and incredibly rare in a Lidl branch with self-service tills.

B&M seems to vary from branch to branch, in my experience. Once new branch I've visited a few times had few announcements, but slightly too loud Christmas music, as opposed to another with constant announcements. Even the pre-announcement chime is annoying.
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Pete
Posts: 7601
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

Headsets appear to be the way now at B&Q. There used to be walkie talkies (locally bought) / departmental dect phones (central) in my day but they were always broken and therefore the tannoy got used instead.

I've never heard a tannoy at B&Q for ages. Which is good bc the music is once again excellent instead of the dodgy covers / fake songs they had for a while.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
james2001
Posts: 726
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

God, the dodgy B&Q covers were awful. You were constantly distracted in store because of the fact they were "off", basically a sort of aural uncanny valley. Would have been better to not have any music at all.
BBC TV Centre
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu 29 Apr, 2021 22.35

The problem with B&M, certainly in our local one, is that it attracts a lot of dawdlers who want to buy the entire shop and staff who scan at a glacial speed.

If you're going in for one or two items then it can take quite a bit of time to get out.
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