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Anyone who has spent any serious time in retail environments knows that stores are set up for shopping easy on the customers and encourage them to purchase.  Grocery store chains, in particular, have gone to great pains to determine how to best arrange their aisles to make the customer experience easier and more efficient.

At least that is supposedly the case.

But, if that is really the case, I don’t see it.  It’s not that I think that the store I frequent is necessarily laid out incorrectly.  One would think with the millions of dollars spent researching customer shopping trends and paying consultants to help design their stores we would have stumbled across a universal design that would work everywhere.  A design that could be implemented without fear, knowing that it would suit the needs of all people.  So, do we have such a thing?

Apparently not.  If we did I would not walk into an unfamiliar grocery store and have to do an aisle to aisle search for something as simple as a loaf of bread.

The grocery chains really need to get their collective acts together.  I suppose there are sick individuals out there who enjoy going to the grocery store and browsing through the aisles for hours.  Most of us do not.  Most of us walk in with a definite list of items we need.  Our greatest hope is to grab what we need and make it to a check out line that is either open or has a short line.  We wish to spend as little time within the confines of the grocery store as humanly possible.

Grocery shopping should not have to be a scavenger hunt.  There should be some sort of standardization that allows me to quickly grab what I need based on relative geography and product positioning.  Why must we change where things are located from store to store.  Heck, even within the same chain I often run into stores that flip the aisle order in reverse from store to store.

So, all you executives at the food retailers out there, get your act together.  Hold a summit.  Do something.  I’m tired of searching for bread when I stop somewhere not the norm.  It’s just bread, for the love of God.


One Comment

  1. They opened a new HEB here about a year ago that is the most counter-intuitive grocery store I have EVER encountered. I once left mid-shopping-experience because I felt lost and unmoored among the snack foods.

    Although I find that there are some items that are particularly difficult to find in any grocery store. I can never find those french-fried onion things that you put on top of green bean casserole.

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