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Business: Supermarket: Planning
Shopping List Optimizer   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
Organizes shopping lists by the store layout.

A simple computer program that would take your existing shopping list, and organize it so you can optimize your time in the store by listing things in Aisle 1 before Aisle 2, etc. You could move through the store without having to go back because you forgot something. People would make store "profiles" and post them on a central web site.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 09 2002

Supermarket Mapper http://www.halfbake...upermarket_20Mapper
...already incorporates this and has more details. [krelnik, Oct 02 2002]

I fishbone this on the basis that my mom would. She loves looking out for new products. It might appeal to some shoppers, though.
-- watermelancholy, Aug 09 2002

Must've been a mental fishbone.

This is not such a bad idea, it'll still allow you to look at new products but streamline the grocery experience! The main problem I see is that different supermarkets have items stored at different locations so the list would have to be shop specific. Furthermore, products are frequently moved around so the profiles would have to have a dynamic element. In the end it's probably just easier to go and find stuff, or shop online if you really hate supermarkets.
-- madradish, Aug 09 2002

How 'bout you've input your list at home on your PDA or a memory card/disk which you load into the shopping cart/trolley that displays a "road map" of the most effective path through the store. If you take a detour to pick up unplanned chocolate-covered cheese waves, the cart/trolley will know where you are and will display a new shortest path.
-- FarmerJohn, Aug 09 2002

This would've failed for me last evening. They moved the dried porcini mushrooms *again*.
-- angel, Aug 09 2002

They're just trying to give you that authentic "foraging" experience angel.
-- namaste, Aug 09 2002

But they always put fruit and veg in aisle 1, which ideally (for the purpose of not getting squashed at the bottom of your basket or trolley) you would pick up last; so perhaps the optimisation could start you off at the far end of the store, going aisle by aisle until you reach the crushable goods back at aisle 1.
-- vincebowdren, Aug 09 2002

Unfortunately, [namaste], they gave me that authentic "pissed-off", "if only there were a decent supermarket in this town", "I would kill for a Tesco" experience.
-- angel, Aug 09 2002

your right, supermarkets do this on purpose. but cunningly they have this baked on their own in store PDA's. These are used by in store "pickers" who trot around the store collecting goods for home delivery. These PDA tell them exactly where to go & what to pick, thereby drastically reducing the picking costs.
-- mymus, Aug 09 2002

However a key idea in supermarkets is that you have to search for products therefore encountering new ones, which you impulse buy, in the process. Therefore bread is kept at a distance from butter and marges and stores are periodically reorganised. Fruit and veg are first to try and associate their store with freshness as another example.

So I don't think supermarkets would play ball and allow people to speed shop at their supermarkets. It is in their interests to make people browse.
-- Aristotle, Aug 09 2002

Erm... I do this already but without all the electronic gubbins. Though supermarkets do move things about, the general layout stays the same (sandwiches/newspapers, vegetables, dairy, tins, freezers, cereal, sweets, drinks) so you can usually write a fairly accurate positional list if you put your mind to it. Caveat: the positioning of the bread and eggs is changed daily using a pin-dropped-on-plan-of-shop system.
-- calum, Aug 09 2002

I've been to my local supermarket so many times that I base my shopping lists on a mental tour of the aisles.
-- DRstrathmore, Aug 09 2002

Unfortunatley, [vincebowdren], if you started at the other end, your fruit would be nice and unsquished, but your frozen food would be thawed.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 09 2002

Maybe we are very very lucky here. We have Real Canadian Superstores, your typical mega grocery store. The veggies and fruit are in the last aisle, the frozen stuff is one back and they are all beside the baked goods. You can load up the perishables and frozen things last. Also, every store layout is almost identical, I've been to six of them, even one in New Brunswick, and I always know where everything is. It isn't all perfect, you do have to buy bags and bag your own.
-- rbl, Aug 09 2002

rbl: You are indeed very, very lucky. I wish our stores were like that.
-- 8th of 7, Aug 09 2002

Most supermarkets are laid out at least where predictable categories are in an aisle. It is easier to just divide your list and coupons into baked goods, canned goods, frozen goods, veggies, etc. As you get in the aisle that pertains to that category look at your list. Simple enough.
-- heatherbell, Aug 12 2002

random, halfbakery