Business: Supermarket: Planning
re-arrange supermarkets   (+6, -4)  [vote for, against]

give the customer the option to move displays/stock around as and when they please.

that pile of baked beans by the main door just didn’t look right and so after some thought, I decided to move the whole pile to its new home next to the homeopathic flatulence relief display stand, using the low bed trolley carelessly left behind by someone - now off duty (actually chatting up Cathy from the hot ready-cooked chicken section).

when I’d left, unknown to me, some other shopper decided that it looked aesthetically more improved beside the cabbages and green beans just a short distance away – I think this was a decision based on a visual image; my previous knee-jerk repositioning had not taken colour into consideration – my initial move was more shape orientated.

by the way, I think it’s a real mistake to put chocolate at toddler level right next to the check-out. I will always move them nearer the face wipes and paper tissues.

you may feel that supermarkets would get quite messy with this democratic system but customers may just bring a fresh new vision to store arrangements that jaded shop designers missed and other store users may spot items of stock in aisles that they have overlooked before leading to a growth in sales.

I may tell you that I had spent a great deal of time at the DVDs and books & had organised them into alphabetical order (probably as a result of being an ex-librarian – the knees have almost quite gone now though. have you ever noticed how librarians & plumbers have very flexible knees? afterthought - perhaps vicars as well)

mind you, I quite forgot what I had gone into the shop for.
-- po, Sep 05 2007

In case you forget, here's my idea In-Store_20Psychic
[xandram, Sep 05 2007]

Wouldn't this make shopping about 18% more irritating than it already is?
-- theleopard, Sep 05 2007

The great Eddie Izzard says:

"Supermarkets are always arranged so that you enter through the fresh fruit and vegetables so that you think, "This is a fresh shop. Everything here is fresh". If you went in through the section with toilet paper and toilet cleaners, you'd think, "This is a poo shop. Eeeeverything here is poo!"."
-- squeak, Sep 05 2007

//knee-jerk repositioning //
//the knees have almost quite gone now though.//
<steeples fingers, puts on faux Viennese accent>You seem quite knee-obsessed. Tell me about your mother.</sfpofVa>
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 05 2007

my mother had great legs and knees...
-- po, Sep 05 2007

sounds like a nightmare. the in-and-out crowd would never shop there. sales associates would no longer be knowledgeable and therefore no longer helpful. you would be tempted to ask other shoppers if *they* knew where lightbulbs were (not to mention, wondering how many of them were broken, because two teenagers used them for baseball practice as they were "transferring" them across the store).

i would give you a bun, but someone's moved the whole baked goods section to another part of the store. : (
-- k_sra, Sep 05 2007

excellant response K/ this may be the first fishbone I ever handed to dear po. :'-(
-- dentworth, Sep 05 2007

However, I would like to qualify my negative with the affirmation that I, personally would like to do this,(and I assume I am far from normal) but from a marketting standpoint it would be pure disaster. neh?
-- dentworth, Sep 05 2007

hey, if you would like to do it - it must be good.
-- po, Sep 05 2007

I agree with [k_sra], but I also agree with [po]. If you like it, if you would *want* to do it, you really ought to bun it.

Meh. [-]
-- theleopard, Sep 05 2007

well here we could get into a discussion as to the value of votes. Do you vote purely on emotional response, or on reality, or whether the idea meets the criteria for the halfbakery. In which case, I would say + for emot. - for reality, and - for halfbakery criteria, as it looks like a WIBNI, although I guess that would be an argument in itself. So for now I will let the - stand.

edit: This does not meet the WIBINI described in help, so I withdraw the statement, bringing my vote to a neutral.
-- dentworth, Sep 05 2007

do me a sketch anyway, dentworth.
-- po, Sep 05 2007

you don't know what you're in for!
-- dentworth, Sep 05 2007

My vote generally denotes whether I am for something or not.
semi colon hyphen close parenthesis
-- theleopard, Sep 05 2007

don't you semi colon hyphen close parenthesis at me, young man!
-- po, Sep 05 2007

I've thought about this and it would be terrible for grocery shopping, but could be quite valuable as a self-analytical tool. Where one places objects could then be analysed to give insight into your deepest thoughts.
-- xandram, Sep 05 2007

So, ah, what can you tell us about po's psyche? (That we want to know.)
-- DrCurry, Sep 05 2007

//I agree with [k_sra], but I also agree with [po].//

and usually, [theleopard], we agree with each other. but right here, we don't.

[po], love, in a day this shop will look like a rummage sale. harried housewives will only have time to move twelve tins of beans to the produce shelves before dashing off home. disinfranchised ex-employees will move porn rags to the kids' corner and everybody will give themselves a pat on the back as they leave a tub of ice cream to melt among the mustard bottles. there's neither a desire nor a need for this calamitous waste of energy and efficiency. if [xandram] is right and this indicates a state of mind then i worry that you are not having a very good time. if you really want to rearrange foodies at your local sainsburys, then go right ahead, but be prepared to be stopped -as you should be- so that others can enjoy a shopping experience where food is where it says it is.
-- k_sra, Sep 05 2007

tsk, who let the voice of reason back here? ;)
-- po, Sep 05 2007

// tsk, who let the voice of reason back here? ;)//

Yes, I agree. I will bun now, if not for fun, but just for the fun of thinking of it...muahahahah.
It's totally halfbaked.
-- xandram, Sep 05 2007

i would bun this if it was a rubik's cube store that reconfigured to suite my shopping needs. so when I entered the store everything i wanted was all neatly lined up along one aisle and at the end of it a cash register. can you do that?

*sigh* i must be going soft; i can't give you the bone you so truly deserve.<puts voice of reason back away in its box>
-- k_sra, Sep 05 2007

<I'm currently moving the hair gel into the aisle with jams and jellies.>
-- xandram, Sep 05 2007

This is baked at the 99cents only store, where shoppers with $8 to restock their entire household going through picking things up and then putting them down somewhere else is a contact sport (and they of course don't employ shelf re-organizers, do they?)
-- globaltourniquet, Sep 05 2007

oh, [global], you made me laugh! //$8 to restock their entire sport// hehe

[xandram], my toast tastes funny...
-- k_sra, Sep 05 2007

I'd put the capital letters next to the check-out.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 05 2007

I'd like to go back to the old-style grocer's where you turn up with a list, and your grocer collects things from the big shelf behind him (some of them would even deliver) This whole silly self-service thing just isn't on - AND, it's the route of all evil.
-- zen_tom, Sep 05 2007


(I wish I had a dollar for every time I said that).
-- Texticle, Sep 06 2007

Supermarket dispalys (at least in the big chains) are the result of marketing science. Everything is placed for maximum sales taking into consideration adjacent products, paths traveled to get to specific goods, season, holidays (multicultural), visibility to various demographics, discounts to the store that aren't necessairly passed on to consumers, etc. In many of the stores the shelves are not even stocked by employess but rather by the delivery people, so you're bucking the trend. Which isn't a bad thing at all - I vote for [zen_tom]'s old style grocery, which ideally would be located between the old style bakery and the old style butcher.
-- nuclear hobo, Sep 06 2007

[Just wondering if this was po's response when they stopped her at the checkout with 32 cans of baked beans in her pockets - she was just rearranging things...]
-- DrCurry, Sep 06 2007

//result of marketing science// actually this was the inspiration for this. a few weeks back I complained to someone in Sainsbury's that no way should heavy bags of cat litter be 6 feet off the floor. not only was it difficult for a shorter person to manhandle to the ground there was the potential for it falling onto someone's head - it could badly hurt someone in a wheelchair or a toddler. The response was that the shelf stockers worked to a plan that was worked out elsewhere and that they had to stick to it. I asked that my comments were nonetheless passed on.

last saturday, the cat litter was still on the top shelf above my head. there was *other cat litter* that I could have bought that was below it but my favourite product was above my head.

I have made a formal complaint in writing to Sainsbury's and await their reply - under health and safety their marketing science sucks big time.
-- po, Sep 06 2007

btw, the frozen chicken under my jumper is thawing out nicely but my nipples are cold.
-- po, Sep 06 2007

//I'd like to go back to the old-style grocer's where you turn up with a list//
In the UK, its called Argos.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 06 2007

////I'd like to go back to the old-style grocer's where you turn up with a list// In the UK, its called Argos//

Also Tesco-online, Waitrose-online, Sainsbury-online. The only difference is that you don't actually have to turn up with your list, and they bring things to you. It's awfully nice.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 06 2007

[k_sra] I was thinking more of some old granny or wise-ass punk putting grape jam in their hair!
[zen_tom] and others-- I thought they only did that in "Little House on the Prairie". I'm not aware of any store that will do that here, but I live in a little jerk water town. I suppose the on-line service does exist in the larger cities.
-- xandram, Sep 06 2007

I'm going to bun this because at the market where I shop there are too many people shopping on cruise control. This might thin the crowds a little bit, or at least help us to all pull our heads out.

My only caveat is this: If I have to go all 'round the store in order to find a particular item, it damn well better be in stock.
-- Noexit, Sep 06 2007

Tesco-online do no such thing. Certainly not in my postcode. They bring a subsection of what you ordered, with crap fruit & veg and the odd replacement.

I wouldn't rely on them to bring my dinner home.
-- Jinbish, Sep 06 2007

po: here, I'll warm them up for you...
-- DrCurry, Sep 06 2007

mmm, hot curry chicken breast!
-- k_sra, Sep 06 2007

<lasting mental image!!>

[xan] It (apparently, according to my parents/grandparents - I've not seen it myself) used to be the norm over here until some time during the 50's - then, as rationing was finally being phased out, and the Marshall plan was in full effect across Europe, all manner of modern (American) things started appearing; supermarkets, adverts on television, gameshows, nylons, cola and hamburgers.
-- zen_tom, Sep 06 2007

zt: that was how the corner grocers worked when I was a child - well after the Marshall Plan - but it was gone by the mid-70's or so.
-- DrCurry, Sep 06 2007

Actually that makes more sense - I tend to automatically date everything I'm told by my ancestors to a sort of blurry black-and-white fictional mid 50's where everyone cycled precisely 8 miles to work in their demob suits, and were only ever known by their surnames (Mr This and Mrs That)
-- zen_tom, Sep 06 2007

//The only difference is that you don't actually have to turn up with your list, and they bring things to you. It's awfully nice.//
My late grandmother owned a small family grocers, and regularly delivered to customers orders telephoned in.
Two raritys here:
A small business with a telephone (my grandfather was a telephone engineer, and had to have a phone at home because he was frequently on call)
A woman who had a car and could drive (though she learned to drive during WWII, and never actually possessed a driving licence, right into the late 1970s)
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 06 2007

[zen_tom] It does sound fictionally wonderful. *The good ole days*, too bad they started to Americanize things. I will never see the Europe of my dreams, or probably elsewhere for that matter.
-- xandram, Sep 06 2007

Oh, I don't think we should blame Americanization - it's only progress, but perhaps it is a bit of a shame sometimes - I suppose.
-- zen_tom, Sep 06 2007

[po] - I thought you were just happy to see me ...
-- noncompliance, Sep 06 2007

//Two raritys here: A woman who had a car and could drive (though she learned to drive during WWII, and never actually possessed a driving licence, right into the late 1970s)//

I believe the Queen (curtsey) was actually a trained motor mechanic during the war.
-- po, Sep 06 2007

[nonc], of course! would you hold my chicken for a while, as my nipples thaw out!

just while I hmmmmm, struggle putting these tinned tomatoes, umm... by the newstand.
-- po, Sep 06 2007

Each aisle could have a sort of remote control thing, or perhaps there could be a control tower from where you could watch as you remotely guide the aisles around - it could form quite a brain-teaser, in the "how do I move the aisles about so they don't get in the way of one another" alternately, you could recreate the lair of the Minotaur, and have unsuspecting Thesisuses scratch their heads as they turn to where they thought the household goods section used to be (so they can get some twine) only to find themselves mysteriously back in Milk & Dairy.
-- zen_tom, Sep 06 2007

//marketing science//

There's no such animal. Have you *read* the academic literature on marketing? I have. (OK, maybe not all of it).

<software geek>
Regarding the idea, I think it could be rescued by a layer of indirection. If customers could move things around virtually on a touch-screen then, from time to time, the management could collate their suggestions and implement at least some of the changes themselves.

They would lose some of their impulse-purchase revenue (e.g. from those sweeties by the checkout), but would gain customer loyalty, so this would fit better in a high-end chain whose customers might enjoy belonging to a virtual community of wiki-shop-fitters.
</software geek>
-- pertinax, Sep 07 2007

what does //layer of indirection// mean?
-- po, Sep 07 2007

In this case, it means people would be moving representations of things or symbols of things rather than the things themselves. The things themselves would, ultimately, get moved, but, between the customers' input and the actual movements, there'd be room for interpretation and moderation by the shop management.

More generally, it means some sort of step in between intentions and actions, or between items and their representations. For example...
1. If you go into a library, go straight to a shelf, and remove a book, there's no indirection involved.
2. If you first go to the library's card index, find your book title there, and then proceed to the place on the shelves indicated by the card, that's one layer of indirection.
3. If you have to ask the librarian where to find the card index, that's another layer of indirection.
4. If you have to ask someone else where to find the librarian, so that you can ask the librarian where to find the card index, that's yet another layer of indirection.
etc., etc.

In software, it sometimes refers to memory pointers which direct your program to a location in memory where it will find a pointer to *another* location in memory, etc. Other times it refers to programs which, when provoked, construct other programs which then actually do something.
-- pertinax, Sep 07 2007

my goodness that was a thorough answer. i need a cigarette.
-- k_sra, Sep 07 2007

//layers of indirection// - [marked-for- tagline]
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 07 2007

That'd be 'layers of *mis*direction', shirley?
-- pertinax, Sep 07 2007

random, halfbakery