I was recently at the Supermarket buying some ingredients for future meals (like you do) and I realized something: Supermarkets kind of suck. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s awesome that everything, or most everything, that one could need is right there, all in one convenient place, but its the method of distribution that I don’t like.
First off, generally when one walks into the Supermarket, one is greeted by the piles and piles of fresh fruit and vegetables, sitting in the open, by the door that opens up to the outside world. That is terrible for multiple reasons, boiling down to:
- The bacteria that floats in to the Supermarket and from people coming in and touching it, and
- The cooling system needed to make sure all the produce stays cold. It’s an open container!
The amount of energy that it takes to keep that at a constant temperature with most of the cold air being forced out into the much warmer aisles is incredible. At least most of the things in the frozen food section (which is usually nowhere near the produce) is behind doors. For the most part, but there are a few places where the frozen food is open as well. If you really wanted to reduce the energy cost of keeping things cold, you would group the cold/ frozen aisles together to create a colder area in the store, and maybe even put that area behind doors itself, which would then keep more cold air in while reducing the amount of energy needed.
And while I’m on the idea of produce, not that much needs to be displayed all at once! I know that it’s nice to not have to restock every hour, but once food that needs refrigeration has been sitting out for over four hours, it is technically “unsafe.” It would be more efficient, food-wise (maybe not labor-wise) to keep less food out at one period of time.
On to the aisles. Most Supermarkets have aisles that allow two shopping carts to pass by each other without hitting, but what about when two people decide they are going to stop right next to each other and create an aisle-block? I know this isn’t the Supermarket’s fault, but maybe if there was a tiny bit more space, a person could walk in between the two carts, or maybe even a bit more space for someone AND their cart to pass through. Imagine, a world where three shopping carts could pass be each other in an aisle.
And why arrange the aisles in that way anyway? Who decided that placing the household cleaners next to junk food was a good idea? Or pet food next to the grains aisle? Or my personal favorite that I have seen in my travels, the deli counter next to the vegan section. That was interesting. But seriously, why not have some sort of logical layout to the aisles that make a clear transition from one to the next instead of having to guess which aisle you need, because sometimes the item you need isn’t even listed on those aisle labels! And the staff, they don’t even know the layout, you ask where buttermilk is, because it’s not with the milk, and they bring you to the milk section because buttermilk has the word “milk” in it, but it ends up that its over with the health foods. Back to the argument, who does this layout?
And finally, the checkout lanes, where it seems that after a backup of five people per lane, then a new lane can be opened. And then everyone is shuttled out through a narrow aisle behind the registers to the single exit in the Supermarket. Or double, if you’re lucky. What is it with Supermarkets and their lack of space? It’s because of all that extra produce they have to put out, isn’t it. OR it’s because they need to keep the cold foods as far away from each other as possible. Who knows. All I know is that Supermarkets bother me.
I’ll See You,