The cashier was once seen as a bustling eager young sprite, hoping to help you find anything you need. “Thanks for stopping in today (sir or ma’am),” they would chirp. “Did you find everything you needed?”
Of course the cultural depiction of this once charming occupation has since changed. Today’s perception is more along the lines of gruff people who seem to be angered to have a job haphazardly throwing whatever you bought in bags with the enthusiasm of a zombie.
It is enough to suck any joy you might have had out of any retail experience. Most of us are not rich and if the sheer presence of a cashier is going to increase the price of a product we are buying, then they had better offer some sort of service. At the very least, offer a smile. It makes the inevitable ascent of shopping on the web make so much more sense.
Another thing that makes sense for immediate needs like snacks and beverages is the ascent of vending machines everywhere and anywhere. Convenient food vending is on the rise and the reason is likely the demise of the service industry. Not that there aren’t some stores that specialize in customer service and do a great job. Just that those stores are generally not retailing candy bars and cans of soda.