Love it or hate it, we’re all going shopping. But if you know the grocery stores, you know they also switch items around. For most shoppers, these changes are confusing and sometimes lead to the question, why do grocery stores change the layout? Food shopping has become such a repetitive and regular pursuit that you may not be aware of all the steps that grocery stores take to keep you going longer and make you spend more money. Driven by lower profit margins and intense competition, grocery stores are desperate to make their stores better than their rivals. One of the easiest ways to do this is by modifying the style. But it’s also a way to push shoppers down every aisle, relying on them to make additional purchases they hadn’t intended to make.
Why are grocery stores rearranging everything?
Like other firms, grocery stores want to make as many profits as possible. This is the best way to make additional profits and possibly expand. After all, the average grocery store only makes a net profit of about 2%. Think about it this way. For every dollar they take in, only about 2 cents is actually profit after every expense is paid out. In a recent post, I go into much more depth on the profit margins of the grocery store. So, in order to increase those profits, their buyers need to buy more products than they expected. In order for this to happen, they need to make it harder for consumers to locate the things they need. This is where the store’s rearrangement comes in.
The layout of the store is to take you to the outside to follow. This is where all the main products like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk, etc. You must follow this ring in order to get to all these items and be exposed to the ends of the aisle throughout the process. At the end of each aisle there are ‘end-caps’ which offer large specials or featured products. This is set up to lure you down the aisle. The idea here is that you’re going to follow up and down every aisle keeping you in the store for as long as you can, kind of like a funnel system. The aisles are often set up such that the most sought after products are in the middle of it.
How is the Grocery Store Aisles organised?
The grocery store’s aisles are organised into categories. Each section of the store shall appeal to the senses of the shopper. Usually there are colourful bouquets of flowers to draw in the shoppers at the front end of the store. Fresh flowers make the store seem fresh and clean. New fruit and vegetables are accompanied by brightly coloured flowers. The fresh meat section is always on the very back wall. Dairy aisles are not connected to, but similar to, the meat section along the back. This will take you back to the front of the other side of the store where the bread and bakery area is.
Shopping Aisle Basics
Most packaged and ready-to – eat foods tend to be sold in the inner aisles. Why? Why? Since these kinds of food items are pre-packaged, which means they can sit on the shelf for months at a time. Most of the fresh food options, such as fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, are all found in the outer aisles (perimeter). This makes it a good idea to start shopping in the outer aisles, mainly because freshness is better for your health. But fresh will cost more than that, too, so what to do? Look for fruit and vegetables that are priced to go before they go bad. You’ll have to eat them soon, of course, which is easy enough when it comes to fresh food. This also refers to meat and dairy products. If you don’t have immediate use for them, just freeze for future use.
Popular Aisles in the Grocery Store
Top brand manufacturers pay big bucks to display their products at eye level and stores charge slot fees for these top positions. So clearly that’s where you’re going to find recognised brands, as shelf position is paramount. Up on the shelves are more expensive specialty items and down on the bottom shelves are the knock-off generic brand products. Basically, if you want something other than a brand name, you’re going to have to work for it either by getting up or down to search, and supermarkets bank on your laziness not to do that.
Each grocery store has about 11 common aisles. It makes shopping a lot simpler. And if you’re going to a brand-new store, it’s going to have these simple aisles.
- Baking: This aisle will contain everything from flour, sugar, powdered sugar and cornmeal. They will also have nuts, a range of flavoured baking chips, icing types, and canned desserts.
- Beverage: Depending on the size of the shop, there might be more than one beverage aisle. It will hold water, soda, energy and power drinks, juice, and a mixture of powdered drinks.
- Bread: Normally, this aisle is close to the door or connected to the bakery area. You’ll find hamburger and hot dog buns, sandwich rolls and loaves, breakfast bread and bagels, dinner rolls, etc.
- Cereal Breakfast: The breakfast aisle has everything you need for a quick meal. There are hot and cold cereal, pop tarts, pancake mixture, waffle mixture and a variety of syrup.
- Candy and Snack: The snack aisles will have everything from cookies, children’s gums, chips and dips. Healthier choices can be made, such as almonds, pretzels, crackers and granola options.
- Canned Goods: There is typically more than one aisle. It’s going to have canned corn, green beans, carrots, greens and mushrooms. It’s going to have a selection of canned beans and peas. There will also be canned tuna, ham, and other canned meat, and chicken broth containers, beef broth, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, and mushroom soup.
- Condiment: This is a significant aisle for any occasion. Dips, condiments such as ketchup or mustard, dressings such as ranch or Italian, and barbecue and honey mustard sauces are required for almost any kind of food.
- Dairy: Because of the cooler, this aisle will still be on a hard wall. It can be a whole corner section depending upon the size of the grocery store. There will be a range of milk, various flavours of liquid creamers, a range of yoghurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, a variety of cheeses and butter.
- Boxed Dinner and Pasta: Every grocery store, no matter the size, has some kind of boxed dinner aisle. Big range of quick-box dinners such as Hamburger Helper or packaged side dishes such as different rice flavours, different pasta options and sauces.
- Print products and cleaning products: Paper items can be anything from paper towels, toilet tissue, Kleenex, containers, garbage bags, paper plates and cups, to plastic silverware. Cleaning items such as dishes and laundry detergent, bleach, bathroom cleaners, and even room deodorisers can also be found on or off this aisle.
- Personal Care Goods: This is the aisle of your toothpaste, denture products, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, a range of bath soaps and hand soaps. Razors, shaving cream, over-the-counter medicine and a range of hair products are also available.
This guide is designed to help you navigate around any large grocery store. Give you a simple overview of the typical aisles of a grocery store to help you get around with ease. Preparing a list before you leave for a shopping trip will ensure success. Grouping objects in the typical categories will ensure a speedy journey. There are ways to buy smart and buy safe. Having a strategy and being mindful of the ploys used by the psychology of the supermarket will make you a more alert and eventually healthier person.