This is becoming a sign of the times. Grocery stores and department stores for the most part is more and more self-checkout than ever before.

And maybe this started decades ago when most gas stations became self-pump. Yes, there are still a few left that pump your gas and wash your windows and probably will check the oil if you ask but that's pretty much a thing of the past.

It's becoming the new norm at grocery stores and at department stores like Walmart.

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And the transition has not been without bickering on both sides of the issue. Some love self-checkouts because it involves no chitchat and other reasons.

Some loathe self-checkouts saying they are not getting paid to work for the store, they are buying products from them.

Sure you've heard of the sale in late December of 2022, of six Leadbetter's convenience stores to R.H. Foster and the process is under way converting the locations to Freshies convenience stores.

Leadbetter's Hammond St. 2, Cori Skall
Leadbetter's Hammond St. 2, Cori Skall
Scott Miller
Scott Miller

The former Leadbetters on Main Road in Holden at South Road was closed for a complete renovation and opened last week as a brand-new Freshies.

Step inside, and you will not recognize that store. It is totally different than it was. It's very open. It is certainly very fresh and new.

But as you enter, you are not going past a cash register.

Freshies Holden is self-checkout

Personally, when I was in there yesterday, I selected my sandwich, I selected a bottle of water and I went to one of three stations that are self-checkout with one worker behind the counter to assist if needed. Everything on the screen is very simple to operate.  Easy, peasy - out of there in a minute. And for the record, if you want to pay with cash, you can.

The former Leadbetter on Stillwater Ave. in Bangor is now closed and renovation of the store is underway.

Just a heads up, this is only a guess, but self-checkout is probably the way that all the former Leadbetter stores that are soon to be Freshies, will be.

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