I recently wrote about some great businesses in Warwick and Leamington Spa and said that a couple of chain stores disappointed. Last week my wife and I visited an independent supermarket and did something unusual . We started to fill a shopper trolley and then replaced the goods back on the shelves and left the store.
Why the push off?
I could say that the broccoli they had on offer was not quite up to spec or that their banana display was nearly empty or that as first time visitors the store didn’t make us feel immediately comfortable, but that would be unfair. While these points contributed to our failed shopping trip the key reason was chaos pricing.
When the BBC Panorama programme exposed the cynical approach to pricing and promotion that supermarkets used in 2011 it revealed that consumers were being misled on which products offered best value.
What we were confronted with at this store was poor shelf edge price label placement. On their mushroom display that did offer a wide range of different types we found that it was not obvious which price label referred to which product. It took us too long to decode this challenge and we eventually worked out that the labels were for products on the shelf itself and the stock on the shelf below. The next chaos pricing issue we confronted was on shelf edge offer cards that showed a single offer price for several products with differing original prices.
By the time we got to their potato display we were feeling less than sympathetic to the store so when we couldn’t easily see what we wanted we decided to return the items to the shelves and go elsewhere.
I am still shocked that we did this as my expectations of the store were high. I don’t think that played a part in my disappointment but the visit to this store has reminded me that the art of retail is about delivering what the customer wants. It’s not just about how cheap your products are, we would all be using Asda if that was the case, it’s about a lot more than that.
When was the last time you looked at your store through your customers’ eyes? And I mean literally through their eyes. It is surprising what your customers see when they visit your store, how about asking a regular customer to walk your store with you to tell you what they think.
Why not try this and let us know what you discover.
PS we went on to spent over £60 at the next supermarket we stopped at.