We all have our regular stores, and we know the layouts, and we have our routes. In fact, many of us don’t even make a list, unless we need to pick up something out of the ordinary.
I had a rude awakening this week, and the shock of the power of positioning and marketing has left me reeling.
It started so simply. Because my regular store was closed on Sunday, the weekly shopping had to move to Monday. So, in the interest of efficiency, I went to a different store in the chain, one that was on my way home from work.
The produce was awful, rotten in places. The meat case was a mess, the dairy case was stocked with almost-at-deadline goods, and there was a limited selection of cat food (ALWAYS a major priority in my life!).
In my regular store, there’s a small bakery section at the entrance, and the produce aisles are very visible. In this store, the bakery was three times larger, and the produce lay around a couple of corners.
I expected to have trouble finding things because the store was laid out differently, but I never expected that the LAST aisle that most people would travel on the way to the checkout would be a landmine!
One side was chips of every size, shape, flavor, and color. Never mind that my favorite cottage cheese and yogurt weren’t available. I could have substituted a major chip-fest for those dairy products. The other side of the aisle was ice cream and ice pops.
Good grief. What’s a person to do? Tired after doing the shopping, needing some comfort, and perhaps dragging a child or two along, you hit comfort food and snack heaven! How strong would most people be? From the perspective of someone who’s working hard on weight control, it’s disgraceful, perhaps even cruel. From a marketing perspective, it’s sheer brilliance!
Thank goodness for my regular store! The last aisle before the checkout run is the dairy aisle, with the deli that makes excellent roasted cornish hens. Then I head right past the flowers and balloons, and into the relative safety of a checkout lane.
I’m never straying from my usual store again. The culture shock was just too much for my “delicate” equilibrium!