Photo: PhotoAlto (James Hardy)

I personally enjoy grocery shopping. Some of us hate it. But all of us can agree that the worst part is waiting in line for the cashier at the cash register (second-worst: loading and unloading the groceries out of the car). So a downright disaster happened recently at the the Hannaford supermarket in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, averted by the altruistic quick thinking of the store and its manager.

At around 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, the store’s cash registers began to break down. Lines quickly extended far into the aisles, and customers considered just ditching their full carts altogether.

Store manager Shawn Quelch, realizing that it could take about an hour to fix the registers, said that the store decided to just let the customers leave with their groceries, for free. Reports NBC affiliate WPTZ, Quelch said, “The last thing we wanted was for our customers to be waiting for the hour that it was going to take for that to come back up… So we kind of made the decision to just let those folks have the groceries they had selected and be on their way.”

That decision let those customers walk away with an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 of groceries and a priceless amount of goodwill. Said one customer, “Hannaford just took the worst shopping experience I’ve ever had and made it into one of the best.” Those shoppers are now undoubtedly steeped in a certain amount of Hannaford brand loyalty—not just because the store was so nice to them, but also on the off-chance that the cash registers might break down again.