An insider’s guide: the tricks of the rat-trap store - part2

 

retail

  

  

1. Traffic builder

Ever wondered why milk and bread are always way at the back of the store? The theory goes that placing essentials away from the entrance means we are exposed to more potential purchases and offers on the way. Scamell-Katz’s research shows these distraction tactics can be fraught because shoppers arrive at a store with a mission from which they are reluctant to be diverted. Forcing them to walk further for a pint of milk can engender bad feelings. A study at a supermarket petrol station showed quick-buy essentials placed close to the entrance made shoppers more likely to return to the main store for their weekly shop.

2. Power aisle 

Sometimes known as “action alley”, this can be a central aisle or prominent area into which one-off promotions such as TVs or DVD players can be piled roughly in their cardboard boxes. “They’re usually short-term, not continuous lines of, say, a bunch of cheap TVs,” Scamell-Katz says. Regardless of the price, the power aisle gives the impression there’s a good deal to be had there and beyond, increasing the likelihood you’ll spend more than you intended, not less. 

3. Front of shop

Shopper “missions” may involve a week of supplies, the ingredients for a solo dinner, or a lunchtime sandwich. Supermarkets must try to cater to all missions, and for this the front of the store is crucial. Do it right for the sandwich-buyer, and he or she may just return on Saturday to spend £200 on the family. Shelves for sandwiches, crisps and drinks, as well as newspaper bins and flower displays also give the welcome impression of a smaller, local store. The shop front extends to the all-important fruit and vegetable aisles. Perversely, Scamell-Katz says, this is “massively inconvenient”, adding: “You buy all the squishy things first and they get crushed under the rest of your shopping, but those abundant displays of beautifully presented carrots or exotic fruits give the impression you’ve come to a store of freshness. Some retailers in Scandinavia and the US spray a continuous mist of water over their veg so they look as if they’ve been plucked from the tree and brought to you.”

 

Compiled in Editorial Board of Retailiran

 

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