Do you have the Right Signage at your Checkout Lane?

November 2nd, 2016

Many grocery stores are relaxing check-out line limits by adding the word “about”


Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

Many grocery stores are relaxing check-out line limits by adding the word “about” to the check-out line sign. Kroger and Food Lion are two chains that have rolled out signs that now read “about 15 items” in order to bring some peace to the lanes that are intended to be the fastest lines.  There is some logic to this as well.  Supermarkets aim to increase how much customers buy during a shopping visit.  Before a shopper may have been careful to have 15 items or less before they decided to get in the express line.  According to the Food Marketing Institute of Arlington, Virginia, the average sale in a customer transaction is $29.90.  If a customer is limiting the items purchased in the express line to 15 items or less, it means that purchasing that 16th or 17th items is on purpose.  A supermarket’s goal is to sell you more.

The express lanes offer what is called “a perception of control” reports Emily Moscato, assistant professor of food marketing at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia. Customers believe it’s a faster line also limiting the shopper in front of you with the overflowing cart.  There are also changes being made to the self-checkout lane.  SpartanNash, a Michigan-based grocery chain, use to dictate a minimum number of items to use this self-checkout lane.   Now that limit is gone.  Although some grocery stores are relaxing their policy, larger grocery chains such as Safeway, prefer their traditional ways.

There are eight ways to speed through the supermarket checkout:

-Shop weekdays, not weekends.

-Shop during normal work hours.

-Use a manned checkout lane, cashiers are generally faster.

-Pick the line with people with fewer items in their basket.

-Don’t buy items that aren’t labeled with price look-up codes.

-Avoid buying frozen items as the scanner doesn’t read icy codes easily.

-Choose items that are flat with easy to read bar codes.

-Don’t try and guess which lines will be slow.  There is always that person that has a ton of – coupons, pay with a check, or look for exact change.

Whether it’s correct signage, new equipment, SafeSourcing can provide you with all your service needs.  For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.


Zlati Meyer, USA Today, 9/25/16


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