I noticed something funny when I entered my local Dominick’s supermarket a month ago. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it quickly hit me – my grocery cart had been SUPER-SIZED!
Literally overnight all of the smaller grocery carts had been replaced with these new shiny behemoths on wheels. And yes they are more difficult to use – its easier for people to hog aisles and more difficult to navigate the tight corners of the produce department.
So why were these new shopping carts installed? Well to be sure it wasn’t for my convenience. More likely its to increase supermarket profits.
Grocery stores have found that customers simply spend more when they use larger shopping carts!
Im not exactly sure of the reason. Perhaps a full cart acts as a crude warning gauge, reminding us when its time to wrap up our shopping. Since it takes longer to fill a larger cart, the warning gauge goes off much later.
Or perhaps, a larger grocery cart seems less full when it contains the same amount of products as a smaller cart. Because it seems less full, we subconsciously feel that we can put more goods in it in much the same way we put extra trash in a larger trash bag or stuff more clothes in a larger suitcase.
Whatever the reason we spend more when our grocery carts are larger, expect more and more stores to place larger and larger shopping carts in front of us. Even department stores are getting into the act by providing shopping carts.
The worst thing about my super-sized shopping cart experience is that over the past few weeks I’ve actually become accustomed to larger shopping carts. No longer do they feel like massive behemoths. So will I fall into the trap? Will I succumb to the tendency to buy more because of a larger shopping cart? Only time will tell.