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Product Placement Store’s Strategy To Get You To Buy, Spend More

By Phil Lempert Chicago Tribune

A supermarket’s layout is designed to help you locate products, but it also is designed to get you to spend as much time and money in the store as possible.

Your mission: Get in and out quickly and whittle down that average time. This is at odds with the supermarket’s goal: to increase that time with different tools.

One of those tools is product placement. Stores have many shelf and display techniques that you should be aware of:

Massive end-of-aisle displays are intended to give the impression that you also get massive savings. That’s not necessarily so. Always check the sign to make sure the product is really on sale, especially if it is packaged in trial sizes.

Higher-priced items are usually placed at eye level. Studies have found that customers are more likely to buy products in this range. Always look from the top to the bottom and compare prices.

The breakfast cereal aisle is designed by height. Healthier cereals for adults are usually on the top shelf. Right in the middle, slightly below an adult’s eye level, are the kids’ cereals.

It’s no surprise that this aisle is a parent’s worst nightmare. If your kids are easily drawn to the cereal packages, try a couple of strategies to keep them busy. If they are old enough to walk, take them out of the cart and have them walk alongside you. Second, keep them occupied by giving them a job - if you use coupons, let them hold them and search for those particular boxes from the shelf.

Supermarkets constantly rearrange products on shelves and sometimes even products’ location. This is a result of the constant turnover of new product introductions and old product failures. But beware, sometimes the effect is to make shoppers search for items they regularly buy. As they search, they discover - and buy - new products in the old locations.

Looking for strawberries? You’ll probably find other items nearby, such as pastry shells and whipped cream, to encourage impulse buying. Strawberry shortcake may sound great, but if it’s not on your list, forget it. The fastest way to run up a food bill is to put items in your cart you had no intention of buying.

Wordcount: 375

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