Bizerba Iberia
Bizerba Iberia

Bizerba Iberia


The long way to the scale

Interview with Henry Idiri about Improving Accessibility in Supermarkets with Bizerba Scales

27 May, 2024
Point of sale

Amost 10% of the world's population is physically or mentally impaired. Their everyday lives are fraught with challenges. Regular shopping is particularly difficult for wheelchair users or people with dysmelia.

Modern retail concepts such as smart or self-service supermarkets now have the opportunity to make the most normal thing in the world - grocery shopping - easier.


Mr. Idiri, could you start by telling us what you think about accessibility in supermarkets in general?

Overall, I have noticed that many supermarkets are making efforts to become more accessible, but there are still some significant barriers. Accessibility for wheelchair users like me varies greatly; while some supermarkets have passable entrances and wide aisles, others lack basic features such as low-positioned products or user-friendly self-service scales or checkweighers.


What are the biggest challenges you face when shopping, especially with regard to self-service scales?

One of the biggest problems with self-service scales is their height and ease of use. Often the screens and controls are too high for someone like me in a wheelchair, which makes shopping a bit of a challenge. Also, the instructions on the screen are sometimes not clear or too small to read easily.


That sounds like a significant barrier. Do you have any suggestions on how supermarkets could make their self-service scales more accessible for wheelchair users?

Yes, definitely. A simple solution would be to install scales with deep screens, which would make it easier to see as well as operate. Also, a voice control function would be helpful to avoid the need for physical operation. However, I think this is still a long way off. And of course, staff should be attentive to offer support when needed.


Besides the self-service scales, what other aspects of the shopping experience could be improved to make shopping easier for wheelchair users?

Good question. One important aspect is the general layout of the supermarket. Shelves should be designed so that the upper and lower sections are more accessible. Automatic doors at entrances and in the toilet areas are also essential. Another point is the creation of sufficient movement areas at the checkouts and in the aisles to avoid collisions with shopping carts.


Finally, how important is it to you to be able to give feedback on your experience and do you think supermarkets take this feedback seriously?

Giving feedback is extremely important as it helps supermarkets understand where there is room for improvement. I believe that many supermarkets are keen to improve their services, but it is crucial that they take the feedback seriously and turn it into practical solutions.



The discussion about the accessibility of supermarkets for people with disabilities, especially wheelchair users like Henry Idiri, makes it clear that there is still considerable room for improvement here. In addition to barrier-free access, the self-service and checkout scales in the vegetable departments are a key challenge, as they are often positioned too high and are difficult to operate. To overcome these hurdles, low-mounted displays and possible voice output can be the solution. Companies such as Bizerba have been offering accessible self-service scales such as the Q1 100 or the K3 100 for many years, which improve accessibility. Henry Idiri's emphasis on the importance of feedback underlines the need for supermarkets to actively respond to the needs of their customers and continuously improve their products to create an inclusive shopping environment.


Bizerba barrier-free counter top scales

Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea