“CASHIER: Are you a member of our club?
ME: Um, I’m just getting hot dogs.
CASHIER: That’ll be four thousand dollars…or you can join our club.
ME: Um, I can’t come to a lot of meetings, but I guess I’ll join.
CASHIER: It’s really convenient. Fill out this personal information for the next ten minutes.” ― Jim Gaffigan,
P L A N O G R A M : D E F I N I T I O N
Planograms – visual representations of a store’s products or services — are considered a tool for visual merchandising.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “It is a diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail products on shelves in order to maximize sales.”
They therefore help dictate a retail store’s layout. The ultimate effectiveness of the planogram can be measured by sales volume but not consumer convenience.
This article is dedicated to the one person or persons in your family responsible for purchasing the groceries for the entire week; every few days; or on an emergency must have basis.
It will attempt to shed some semblance of sanity as to the apparent logic behind the placement of items in your favorite grocery store’s shelves based on computer algorithms and not any kind of common logic a rational human being would readily use to place stock on shelves.
Case in point:
For the longest period of time I have been purchasing rice pudding and chocolate pudding conveniently placed in my store’s dairy department. The display was always at shoulder height for me. I am six feet tall and could easily access my favorite dessert.
Recently these products mysteriously disappeared from their usual spot. I searched up and down the entire length and breadth of the dairy display cases. All to no avail.
Today I successfully discovered that the items I sought had been relocated to a new site ( left of center) on the dairy shelves.
The items were placed in the “nose bleed” area of the store– almost seven feet high and the shelving holding the items in place obscured a customer from ever finding them.
I spoke with two store employees. The female, who was using a scanner to check item prices in the dairy area, was five foot five inches tall. The male manager I had paged to speak with was five foot eight inches tall. I explained the situation to them and led them to the shelving niche the planogram had situated in.
They readily agreed that the site chosen was impossible to reach and not accessible for every potential customer to easily acquire.
I was informed that the aisle had recently been redesigned and that was the way the planogram laid out the new display setting.
I asked them both if they thought the new product locations would be altered so that customers could reach these items. They told me not to hold my breath.
The illogical planogram had determined that this new location was the best to not serve purchasing customers but satisfy the grand design of warehouse gurus sitting at a desk at headquarters and not aware of the physical realities making some products inaccessible to many customers.
As I was chatting with the male employee I noticed a woman placing her foot on a lower dairy case shelf and attempting to climb up case to reach the product she was seeking.
Sometimes computers are not all they are cracked to be. This might have been a matter of bad code ruling the roost much to everyone’s chagrin. — gc