Secrets of a Supermarket

I LOVE these types of exposes! Real Simple reveals, “The Secrets Behind Your Grocery Store’s Layout.”

It’s All in the Layout: Picking up a few essentials turns into a cart of crap. Here’s a staggering stat, “two-thirds of what we buy in the supermarket we had no intention of buying.”

Every aspect of a store’s layout—from the produce display near the entrance to the dairy case in the back to the candy at the register—is designed to stimulate shopping serendipity.

And what’s with those endcap displays?

“A lot of times, [the items in] endcaps are just something new or in season,” says Schober. “If it’s on sale, believe me, it will be prominently marked. And watch endcaps for a recurring pattern. Leading brands often compete this way. If Coke is on sale in an endcap display one week, it will probably be Pepsi the following week.” If you don’t see the brand you like, just wait for it to come around.

You might also like to know that General Merchandise, Cooking Ingredients, and Canned Goods are placed in the center aisles to, “draw consumers deeper into the market and expose them to nonessential items along the way.”

Do they have a Target edition of this article?!

Have you fallen for any of the supermarket tricks?


16 responses to “Secrets of a Supermarket

  1. Haha – I’m in definite need of a Target article like this. How do they do it? Always go in there for one thing, come out with 25. I will be judging my supermarket with a more critical eye next time I go and will probably still buy whatever is on the endcap… just because I need it.

  2. Target – what are they pumping in the air there?! I can not walk out of that store without spending AT LEAST $50….and I usually do not have an extra $50 to spend!

  3. It’s kind of creepy how calculated the layout in stores is, though not surprising in the least. This is why I go in with a list and TIME MYSELF. If I make a competition with myself to see how quickly I can get done, there’s no time to browse non-essentials!

  4. I know a lot of the tricks. Probably from my marketing class in university.
    They also put the more expensive brands at eye level. You normally have to bend down or reach up for the better deals.

    Have a look at your favourite brand vs the store brand. Check out the ingredients and the location of the factories. They are, more often than not, the SAME products made in the SAME factories. They’re just cheaper because the packaging is less fancy.

  5. I’ve been hearing for years that you’re supposed to stay around the perimeter of the store and avoid the middle. It’s so true! Ever since I lost 100 pounds (and kept it off for 4 years), I stopped eating processed crap. I hit the produce section, meat, dairy, seafood, canned foods and some frozen foods (frozen fruit, veggies, etc) and rarely go down the chip, cookie, cracker, crap isles!

  6. I’m so glad that R.Simple did a piece on this! They might mention this, but even the location of certain items’ shelf height is predetermined. Brands pay more to be placed eye-level, front-n-center, etc. It’s insane.

    Shop the perimeter of the store first, then see what you still need! Target’s edition isn’t necessary, I’m pretty sure I already know that 99% of what I purchase there is/was unplanned. Love it anyway.

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