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Understanding Your Grocery Store’s Layout

From the moment they step foot in a grocery store, customers follow a common path within the store. Product placement and aisle design are intentional, and they follow certain patterns. Understanding your grocery store’s layout will help you navigate the grocery store and comprehend why it functions like it does. To learn more, read our brief guide on the topic.

Exclusive Entrances and Exits

Once a customer enters the store, they usually won’t find an easily accessible exit. Entrances intentionally don’t double as exits in order to extend the time customers must spend in the store. If someone wants to immediately exit, they have to make the awkward trek beyond the registers—and perhaps pick something up along the way.

Strategic Placement

Upon entering the store, a customer will see many different signs of natural life. All kinds of flowers, fruits, and vegetables fill their view to give the appearance of vibrance and freshness. To some degree, the placement of produce at the front of the store suggests the shopping visit is going to be healthy. The openness of the produce section also appears livelier and more inviting than the closed-off aisles.

Features such as juice bars are often located in one of two places in the store: near the entrance to take advantage of foot traffic, or near the fruits and veggies to drive up juice and produce sales. The bakery is also typically located near the front of the store because it engages the sight and smell of customers just entering the store. This gets hungry customers even hungrier and encourages them to make more purchases.

Finally, when you’re trying to understand your grocery store’s layout, know that the dairy products are placed in the back to drive more general foot traffic within the store. If someone comes in knowing they need milk, they’ll need to pass by all the other products and potentially buy them on impulse.

Aisles and Endcaps

Aisle and endcap formatting is a very complicated business that incorporates several trends based on human behavior. Expensive items are located at eye level, while other big-ticket products are placed at the ends of aisles where people often stop. Endcaps are vied-for spots, as their extremely high visibility drives sales. Inexpensive, less-recognizable brands are placed near the top and bottom of the shelves.

Written by Logan Voss

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