The 'gilets jaunes' and trade unionists have protested at the very first unmanned opening of a Casino Géant hypermarket in France. The hypermarket in Angers is usually staffed, but trials an 'autonomous' Sunday afternoon opening.
French trade union CGT says all in all 250 protesters were present at the opening, some of which also entered the stores to loudly voice their protests and even tried to get customers to drop their baskets. Patrice Auvinet of CGT Trade says the atmosphere was friendly and that he was happy to be joined by other trade unions, yellow jackets and even ordinary civilians.
"People do not need another half a day for consumption", another union representative said. Jean Pastor also fears for loss of jobs if the staff-less test is expanded into the hypermarket's normal opening hours. The Sunday afternoon opening is a test that opens the whole store (excluding alcohol and catering) without any employee inside. There are however a couple of security agents and a hostess to help the customers, but they are recruited outside of store staff.
The Casino group is not new to autonomous stores: over 200 stores of its different chains (Casino, Franprix, Leader Price, Monoprix) do have some form of self-scanning check-out. Angers is, however, the first hypermarket to roll out this service.