Retailing, merchandising and marketing fascinates me sometimes. We’ve been loyal Tesco shoppers since just after we came out of nappies ourselves and have had many a reward as a result of our loyalties using their Clubcard Deals over time, but over the last few months we have dipped our toes into the world of ‘alternative’ shopping. Absolutely eye-opening! Amazing in fact! With a bit of prudence and a deliberate effort to resist impulse purchasing, it’s possible to make some real savings! However, some aspects of this alternative shopping fascinate me:
We visited our local Aldi store last week. I was like a seven year old at Disneyland, I swear! Where else on earth can you find such variety in one shopping aisle? In the space of around 10 metres on a single aisle I saw the following…
Moisturising hand cream, chocolate coated biscuits, pillowcases, a petrol driven water pump, photo frames, several flavours of potato crisps, tear and share brioche bread, a bathroom sink unblocker…. I’ve forgotten what else! Oh yes, there was the complete fishing rod and reel set which sat between the pickles and the working boots!
But, the best was yet to come. One thing you’ll notice about Aldi is that it always seems to be quite quiet. There was only one checkout open at the time, but this didn’t seem to have any adverse effect on proceedings. It must take a fair bit of training to achieve, but I have never seen a basket of groceries checked out with such haste! When I was a little one, I was the proud owner of a magnificent ‘Hot Wheels’ car track, which could entertain any young boy for hours. There was a little device on it called the ‘Super Booster’ – a tunnel-type device which when primed, catapulted your toy car at supersonic speed out of the other end with sufficient momentum to carry it around two hairpin bends and a cloverleaf arrangement of three loop-the-loops. This is what an Aldi checkout resembles. It makes it a bit of a team effort because what you do is this: empty contents of trolley onto conveyor belt which runs at a sedate 2 miles per hour. Said groceries then approach the checkout ‘super booster’ and are ejected into your receiving trolley at a hundred times the speed of entry. Magnificent! However, those who are used to the more sedate ‘pack your carrier bags at the checkout’ system that the larger stores still use will be thrown. There simply isn’t the opportunity for this. Your entire trolley is checked out and back in the trolley in the time it would take Mrs Tesco Checkout lady to scan the first three items.
One day, with a bit of luck all stores will work like this. It is aimed at Men I swear because as you know, every minute a man spends in a shop is one more week off his life. Well done Aldi for helping me live longer!