Yesterday a trip to the grocery store was overdue. I dreaded it. I put it off, delaying the trip, and distracting myself with everything else, even laundry. By the time I made it to the grocery store I was in full-on rush mode, flying through grabbing what I could in the short time available before picking up my kids from school.
It brought about a stream of thoughts, wondering why I detested going to the grocery store so much. It is an expensive trip every time, for sure. That’s one thing I suppose. But it’s clean and safe, and there are nice people there. So why such dread?
What would make me want to go grocery shopping or at least help prod me out the door? With that thought in mind I began to create the perfect grocery shopping experience. There are a few stores that have nice features.
You know the ones.
The ones with cereal for $7 a box, or no reasonable paper products, so you end up going to the “regular” grocery store anyway to fill the gaps on the shopping list. Then there’s the store in the next county over that has my favorite coffee shop inside the store. But can I justify a trip 20+ minutes out of the way so I can clutch a giant mocha like it’s the consolation prize for having to endure the drudgery of grocery shopping?
Yes, I understand that grocery shopping is a chore. It’s something we all have to do at least once in a while. But why can’t it be fun too? I say it can.
Here are a few ideas to create my perfect grocery shopping experience. Please add any others you may have.
1. The basics. Clean stores, with wide aisles that can comfortably fit two cart widths, with wheel on those carts that don’t shake or rattle. That’s basic enough.
2. Pretty colors. This ain’t rocket science. Nice colors evoke nice feelings. Personally I’m into calming greens, blues and browns. But ask Martha. I’m sure she’d love to help.
3. Mood lighting. I hate overhead lighting. It’s necessary I know, but tone it down. There’s a store I get to occasionally that has mastered the lighting balance quite well. But they bomb on #1.
4. Music. How about a DJ? Let’s make it a party people. Take requests, have 80′s music shopping hour. There’s no reason we can’t bop to our favorite tune while cruising the aisles.
5. Electronic shopping carts. I’d really utilize a shopping cart with an electronic shopping list and layout of the store. Take the first five minutes in the store to check off needed items (or sync it with one you created at home) and if you leave that aisle missing an item, it lets you know you missed something there. And if you can’t find something, it will indicate with exact GPS positioning of your favorite item. You could also send in a song request to the DJ through your cart or order something from #6.
6. Coffee/smoothie bar. Yeah, I know, not very original. Many stores have this, but not all. It’s a must.
7. A different layout. Most grocery stores I visit have parallel rows. What if the store was laid out kinda like a wheel, with the DJ and coffee/smoothie bar in the center, and all rows radiating out from there? I can’t tell you how many times I forget something on row 1, to only realize it on row 20 (although #5 would help avoid that). If the store is laid out differently you could go up and down rows from a central point and scoot over to row (or spoke) 1 much more easily.
8. No more member cards. I’m spending money people. I should get the best deal you offer because I walked through the doors, not because I filled out a card with my personal information for you to share with who knows. Plus, grocers, if you have #4 and #6, I’ll be back anyway without feeling like I have to go there because I have a special card that gets me in on the deals.
Well, that’s a good start. I could only come up with 8 right now. Would be nice to have a nice round list of 10, but i’m sure you’ve got a few ideas of your own.
Care to share? Let’s create the perfect grocery store, even if it only exists in our dreams.
Happy shopping! Maybe we can meet up for shopping sometime and visit as we stroll the aisles.