Amazing super market article.
I've never put much thought into this but WOW, here's something worth reading about your local grocery store. It makes total sense and cents! The Anatomy of a Supermarket I had never thought much about the intense marketing logistics behind the supermarket business and all of its subliminal aspects until one day when I was in a tremendous hurry. I dashed into my favorite market only to find it had been completely rearranged the previous night. The harder I searched for the items I needed, the more frustrated I became. Finally, I went to the store manager to register my complaint. He told me that this is business as usual for a profit-conscious, modern-day supermarket. Then I learned quite a valuable lesson as he gave me a “behind the scenes” tour of the supermarket business. It seems that a store of this size allocates a large portion of its advertising budget to appealing to customers’ compulsive shopping habits. They count heavily on customers who make their buying decisions on the spot, not long before they walk through the doors. That means it is critical that every item on every shelf is placed strategically to capture the fascination of the customer. It’s a proven fact that the typical shopper quickly memorizes the layout of the store, knows exactly where to find the items needed, and becomes oblivious to everything else. But by turning the place upside down every year or so, the store can “introduce” its regular shoppers to thousands of products they might never have noticed if the store remained unchanged. If that was the goal, it certainly worked on me. In my quest to find the regular stuff, I saw all kinds of things I’d never seen before. I learned the average food shopper spends over an hour every week shuffling up and down the aisles of the all-American supermarket, snatching item after item, building an expensive tower-in-a-basket. At the end of the exercise, the score is tallied, and in most cases the supermarket is the clear winner. The ordinary shopper is as predictable as a rat following a trail of cheese right into a trap. The most expensive and frivolous items are usually placed at eye level. Baking staples such as flour and sugar are commonly on low shelves or so high up you have to reach for them. Eye-catching displays with lights, bells, and whistles usually promote junk-type and expensive items, even though they are piled up to appear to be on sale. The center aisles usually house the prepared and brightly packaged, over-processed food items. Either a hot-deli or bakery in the store will be emitting heavenly smells to appeal to your senses and get those compulsive buying juices flowing. The perimeter of the store is the safe zone: produce, dairy, and meat. You probably can’t avoid the supermarket completely, and it is difficult to remain completely true to your shopping list and financial plan in these kinds of stores. But you can enter the supermarket with extreme caution, fully aware of the many ways your compulsiveness is being tested. And you can walk in with personal protection: A shopping list and only the amount of cash you intend to spend. Leave all of the plastic and your checkbook at home so you will not be able to overspend. M. Hunt