Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Adjustable Height Supermarket Shelves

So little wheel chair confined Mrs McTavish can reach
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Row of shelves is on an hydrolic floor. Press one button, the floor moves down, the shelves move down, and Mrs McTavish can get her crispy M&M's.

Press the other button, and the floor moves up, the shelves move up, and those heavy-heavy jumbo biscuit barrels are at the perfect height for Mrs McTavish to easily push into the trolley.

Show your support for Mrs Mc 'No legs' Tavish, and croissant it today. (C'mon, she needs it to feed her dirty, dirty, addiction)

[ sctld ], Jul 15 2002

Inconvenience stores http://www.angelfir...4/tk173/farside.gif
Unbaked [kluger, Jul 16 2002]

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       Isn't that what boy scouts are for? (Shopping for Mrs. McTavish, that is.)   

       Actually, extend this to the 50' shelves at Home Depot and other warehouse stores, and you'd benefit all shoppers, not just the legless ones.   

       [I know this is Half Baked - Jack Vance had a library like this in one of his stories - but it may also be Baked. Just can't think of a suitable search string.]
DrCurry, Jul 15 2002
  

       Yes, it's Baked - the new Imperial War Museum building has display cabinets like this. Push a selection button and a shelf is retreived from a stack, and brough to the viewing window. Easy enough to adapt for supermarket shelves.   

       If you built the supermarket on two floors, with the movable shelves running vertically between them, the shelves could be restacked on the "warehouse" level without intruding into the "shopping" level.   

       What happens if one person wants something on the "top" shelf and then someone else selects something on the "bottom" shelf ? Will there be a "hesitation" time before your chosen shelf is whisked away ?   

       I presume the shopper makes their selection via a touchscreen or similar, which displays an index ?
8th of 7, Jul 15 2002
  

       No, just a set of two button onone of those big pillars that the supermarkets are so fond of. One for up, and one for down. Like produce at supermarkets, control of the shelves is a case of first come first serve. And if youabuse the power of the shelves, the Royal Canadian Supermarket Police will see to it that you will forever shop at Wal-Mart.
[ sctld ], Jul 15 2002
  

       Mrs. McTavish relocated to Canada?
DrCurry, Jul 15 2002
  

       No, the supermarkets free-lance. Securi-Corps wasn't cutting it.
[ sctld ], Jul 15 2002
  

       DrCurry: She got deported, for Loitering with Intent to Shop.
8th of 7, Jul 15 2002
  

       Supermarkets wouldn't like it. The things up high or down low are the things they don't want you to buy. They want you to buy the things at arm- and eye-level instead.
pottedstu, Jul 15 2002
  

       I didn't know that pottedstu, I thought they wanted you to buy everything. how evil putting things there just to torment people. love the idea [ sctld ] croissant for you, but I am a bit worried about old ladies with dirty habits.
po, Jul 15 2002
  

       As a former grocery clerk, I celebrate this idea. As someone on the fringes of the marketing world, I recognize that it could never be implemented in big chain stores (the only ones who could afford it). The reason? Companies like Campbell's, General Mills, Coke, etc., pay *very good money* in listing fees to have their products displayed at eye level on the shelf. It's part of their strategy to maintain dominance. This idea is like the TiVo of grocery stores; fun for the consumer, but dangerous for the business model.   

       Even though it would have saved me from many an unpleasant interaction with store customers, I have to say that it's a fairly complex and expensive-sounding solution to a fairly straightforward problem. Just ask a gawky, minimum wage farmboy flunky to get the M&Ms!   

       I think it would be perfect for The Big I, though, so no fishbone from me.
earl, Jul 15 2002
  

       Not halfbaked enough. I'd prefer to see a prehensile grabber arm attached to the shelf that fetches the desired item similar to the way juke box 45s are (were) selected. Or a vending machine approach, with the products mounted on spirals which rotate out and 'drop' the stuff.
waugsqueke, Jul 16 2002
  

       How will people know what's on which shelf, with some obviously moving below the floor and possible above the ceiling?
1kester, Jul 16 2002
  

       By looking at the products on the shelf while other people are using it. The shelf, that is, using the shelf.
[ sctld ], Jul 16 2002
  

       Or products could be arranged according to the grocery equivalent of the Dewey Decimal system, at a stroke wiping away the stupid pseudo-random layouts we struggle with at the moment. (Yes, I know that it's all done for good psychological reasons)....   

       <rant> I am endlessly annoyed by the fact that the first thing one comes across in the store is the fruit and vegetable section. If you get soft fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, bananas, etc.) they end up being crushed by subsequent shopping. I have to weave a circuitous route round the aisles, completely against the flow of shoppers, because I load my large, heavy items like bottles, jars and cans first, and soft delicate items (bread, pastry, fruit, etc.) last. The only upsiode to this is that I get more chances to mow down unattended children with my heavily-laden trolley. </rant> [rant-marked-for-expiry]
8th of 7, Jul 16 2002
  

       What I'd like is for the products to be arranged in Dewey Decimal order, a system I am familiar with, or failing that some soirt of consistant rational arrangement. Just as a library has Fiction, Non-fiction, Large Print and Reference, within each store you would be able to look for 323.42 and know it was Pasta sauce, or 417.008 and be certain of finding baking powder.   

       I do tend to progress around familair supermarkets in a sort of reverse order as I know where things are. When I print out my shopping list, I try order it according to a logical packing plan, and group like ites together. Unfortunately this can mean I spend longer walking round but it's all good exercise, and I can indulge in a rant as I go.   

       Keeping your kitten away from me would be a very good thing for your kitten.
8th of 7, Jul 16 2002
  

       Damn, Mrs. McTavish has some bad luck. Would it be cheaper to put robotic arms onto the electric three wheel wonder carts? Croissant, just because everything is better with hydraulics!
Mr Burns, Jul 16 2002
  

       [8th of 7]: There is a Safeway in Seattle where everything is organized by meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. I don't shop there because I prefer not to contemplate how unhealthy my eating habits are. I.e. their layout brings home the fact that I probably shouldn't be eating coconut ice cream for breakfast.
magrak, Jul 16 2002
  

       I have to fishbone this one because it's a giant lawsuit waiting to happen and/or not worth the great expense required to implement.   

       If the shelves were broken into small enough sections, such that only a single shopper would be affected by the movement at a time, it would probalby be safer, but still expensive to do. Also, I imagine the motors that would be used to move those gigantic shelves in stores would suck up a huge amount of energy, which I can't justify for such a small return. For such a device to be implemented in common stores, the need would have to be far greater...downright necessary. Mrs. McTavish should just ask the nice clerk for a hand if she didn't bring her caretaker shopping with her.
XSarenkaX, Jul 16 2002
  

       cannot see why the shopper could not go up and down on a little lift device ?
po, Jul 16 2002
  

       //t's a giant lawsuit waiting to happen//   

       I for one am fed up with this new culture of blaiming other people for our own stupidity. If we ourselves can't figure out the risks involved in certain acts, and then make a desicsion based on the risks assesed, then what gives us the right to go and blame it on someone else. Its like that mother whos sueing the council because they didn't tear down an old building. The reason behind the complaint? Her son was walking on the ROOF of the building and fell to his death. At the end of the day, the boy knew the risks involved, and no-one is to blame but himself. Similarly, if you use the shelf, you acknowledge the risks involved.   

       //not worth the great expense required to implement//   

       Isn't that what the 'bakery is about?   

       tHe supermarkets do one thing to you everytime you shop. tHey take money away from you. Isn't about time that you got something back? Shops make thousands of pounds each week, and its all fleeced from you, the customer. Well, its time to get a little bit back. I'm not talking about crappy points ona card, where every month you can get two pence off baked beans. I'm talking about real changes to suit the customer. After all, it is a consumer driven market.
[ sctld ], Jul 16 2002
  

       Unfortunately, it's also a cartel-driven market.
angel, Jul 17 2002
  

       ¡Viva la revolución!
thumbwax, Jul 17 2002
  

       [ sctld ], you're missing my point about the expense. Just because you feel it's time the supermarkets give you a luxury doesn't mean it's not going to cost you. Besides the exorbitant amount of energy that would be required to do this, there will definitely be higher prices for the items you'll be buying there, to cover the huge expense to the markets.   

       And regarding lawsuits, despite your valid rant about legal trends, grocers will definitely weigh the risk of being sued when considering such an idea, and in my opinion, it sounds like too much of a risk, both safetywise (think innocent children getting caught in these contraptions) and moneywise (think of the additional dollars that would be spent to compensate mangled victims and their loved ones).
XSarenkaX, Jul 17 2002
  

       The supermarkets will do this if they assess the cost-benefit to be in their favour. If moving shelves = make more money then there will be moving shelves. They already pay a fortune in electrical power for open-shelf chiller cabinets, because they sell stuff "efficiently". Doors on the cabinets save staggering amounts of energy, but reduce "convenience" ...   

       Moving shelves also allow you to have more products on "display" in a store with a smaller overall footprint (but it would have to be taller).   

       And if there was a supermarket where the shelves ate unwary children, I would pay to go in ...... sadly, it would be fairly easy to build in safety systems to stop this happening.
8th of 7, Jul 17 2002
  
      
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