5 Ways that Grocery Stores Get You to Spend More

Have you ever walked out of a grocery store with five more items that you did not intend to purchase? Sure, we all have.

And grocery stores hope that we will continue to do so. I mean, they are in business to make a profit.

To encourage shoppers to spend more, grocery stores employ strategies that they hope will get you to buy that item or items that you didn’t anticipate purchasing. What are some of their strategies? Here are five—

  1. The staples are in the back. Have you ever noticed where the milk and bread are located? In most grocery stores, they are toward the back. In fact, in my grocery store, the milk is located on the totally opposite corner of the entrance. Why do they do this? They want you to walk by all the other products before you get your staples, in hopes of you throwing one more item in the cart.
  2. The most popular items are in the middle. Using a similar strategy as the staples, grocery stores tend to place their most popular items in the middle aisles. They want you to pass buy something that maybe you didn’t consider buying prior to entering the store, pick it up, and place it in your cart.
  3. The most expensive items are at eye level. When you look for items, you typically start at eye level. And so they place the most expensive items on those eye level shelves, hoping that you will grab the first product you see. This is also why you find many of the lower priced items on the lower shelves.
  4. Placing impulse items at checkout area. By the time you arrive at the checkout lane, mental fatigue has set in. Which is why you are bombarded with impulse items like candy bars and magazines. The moving checkout line forces you to make a quick decision. And their hope is that you will decide to pick up an impulse item before you hand the cashier your money.
  5. Bigger shopping carts. Over time, shopping carts have grown. The reason is simple—you can put more stuff in it.

Let me be clear—grocery stores are not the enemy. I like my grocery store. And I want them to make a profit so that they stay in business. So my hope is that, by being aware of these strategies, you will be better able to spend according to your budget and to say no that extra item when you can’t afford it.

You came only for bread. Don’t leave with a full cart.

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