Grocery Stores Are Laid Out In a Pattern for a Purpose

You think it’s a coincidence that most grocery stores have their flower displays right when you walk in? Nope. It’s all strategy to get you to buy more. Here’s why most grocery stores are laid out in a certain pattern. This comes from Real Simple:

  • So you walk in and see fresh flowers. Why are they by the entrance? To enhance the image of the store. That’s according to Wendy Liebmann, founder of WSL Strategic Retail – a firm that analyzes consumer behavior. Liebmann says if a customer walks in and sees something fresh, smells something good, sees something beautiful – it builds the notion that everything in the store is fresh. Here’s a shopping tip: Go ahead and buy the flowers because they’re convenient – but know that you’ll get fresher flowers that’ll last longer at a local florist.
  • So after you pass the flowers, you hit produce. Why? A similar reason. It creates a tempting sensory experience. Stores need to communicate that their produce is fresh – or shoppers won’t buy anything. Here’s a shopping tip: Reach to the back and the bottom. Smart stores always have the oldest merchandise in front or on top because they’re trying to get rid of it.
  • Then, typically, on the other side of the store, at the opposite entrance, you’ll find the bakery. It’s by the door to get your salivary glands going. If your mouth is watering from bakery smells – even if you don’t buy anything – you’ll get hungry and buy more food in general. 
  • You’ll also usually find a bank or an ATM by the door. They want you to have easy access to money – because the more money that’s in your hands, the more you’re likely to spend.
  • In the middle of the market, that’s where you’ll get the free samples. Why there? The store wants to stop you in your tracks because the more slowly shoppers move through the store, the more they buy.
  • At the back of the market – that’s where you’ll find essentials – milk, butter, eggs, meat. Why? Because the store wants you to have to traipse through the entire place to get there. They’re not stupid! They know, if you have to go to the back of the store – you’re getting the maximum amount of product exposure. When you pick up those essentials – take the milk and eggs from the back of the case. Older merchandise tends to be pushed forward.

Comment on this story