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Who Put The Super In Supermarket?

Aug 18, 2007
Someone super sized my supermarket. Because we moved, we changed supermarkets. Although it's less than four miles away, it's worlds apart.

In addition to the usual items, it has a Starbucks and a bank. You need a bank if you're a regular Starbuck's customer.

It also has a pharmacy and a florist. Now you can buy your own get well flowers.

The explanation for the large cosmetics section must be
that customers want to look super too; but I don't know the explanation for the car wax, firewood, patio furniture and sets of tableware. Soon supermarkets won't be considered super unless they have everything you need. How about dry cleaning?

What isn't super is having the market's layout changed. I understand the psychology. It's the same psychology that's responsible for the meat, fish and poultry being located in the back of the store. The more items you pass, the more likely you'll buy something you didn't know you wanted.

I, however, feel like a rat going through a maze. If I'm lucky, I come out by the cheese section. The cheese section is located by the deli section, which is located by the fruit section. It's a picnic waiting to happen. Oh, and the bakery section's nearby. That takes the cake.

Whether it's cake, sugary cereals or vitamins shaped like cartoon characters, children always want what they've seen advertised on TV. That's why the manufacturers of these products pay to have them displayed at eye level. Children sitting in carts are at adult eye level.

And have you noticed the carts have gotten bigger? Now the amount you're buying looks smaller.

Small displays of foods to taste are around every corner. Along with the taste comes a coupon for the product, which can be even tastier.

And then there's the music played to sooth the savage shopper. For Saturday morning shoppers like me they play golden oldies. Because the supermarket is open twenty-four hours, I'm guessing they play "Good Night Ladies" at three in the morning.

I've never had the impulse to shop at three in the morning or to buy impulse items like gum, candy and paperback books in the check-out lane. I'm too busy pretending not to read the tabloid magazines nearby.

If supermarkets were this super when I was a child, I'm sure all the little piggies on my feet would have wanted to go to market.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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