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(The Consumerist)   The reason why milk is located in the back of the grocery store? It's not as obvious as you think   (consumerist.com) divider line 190
    More: Interesting, Planet Money, grocery stores, shelf life  
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30941 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jul 2014 at 4:31 AM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-28 11:53:06 AM  

TheMega: some grocery chains wouldn't have a small dairy cooler at the front of the store for people who need milk and are in a huge hurry

And they don't!

Been in stores from Fl to NY, to VA to WY.. Dakotas to TX.. WI to NV.. even up in Canada;  have NEVER seen a store do this. Always at the back of the store, yet the meat section - which oddly enough is also in a cold, refrigerated cooler or display, is ALWAYS much closer.
Of course the meats are closer to the deli, so when the meat expire and go bad, they snatch up the bad stuff, take them to the deli and make "fresh" meals to sell at 3 times the price it would have sold when fresh. (two can play the BS game)

The fake media BULLSHIAT they come up with...


My Walmart and HEB both have small egg/milk sections right at the front. HEB's meats and other refrigerated items are all located at the back.
 
2014-07-28 11:53:43 AM  

BizarreMan: Next you're going to tell me that they really rearrange the entire store every few years to make it more convenient for me and not to make me wander every damn aisle looking for things.


There's a place (not a grocery store but a big box retailer) I essentially stopped shopping at because each time I went in they had moved everything around. Eventually I said screw it.
 
2014-07-28 11:58:06 AM  

JonnyBGoode: In other news, water is wet.

[img.fark.net image 267x189]

Film at 11.



:-)
 
2014-07-28 12:01:10 PM  

Oreamnos: BizarreMan: Next you're going to tell me that they really rearrange the entire store every few years to make it more convenient for me and not to make me wander every damn aisle looking for things.

There's a place (not a grocery store but a big box retailer) I essentially stopped shopping at because each time I went in they had moved everything around. Eventually I said screw it.


You sound old.

Seriously, it's always the old people who shop your store once every 4 years that are like "You've moved everything around since i was last here." I can't help it the last time you were he was when Bush was president.
 
2014-07-28 12:03:30 PM  

jayphat: Oreamnos: BizarreMan: Next you're going to tell me that they really rearrange the entire store every few years to make it more convenient for me and not to make me wander every damn aisle looking for things.

There's a place (not a grocery store but a big box retailer) I essentially stopped shopping at because each time I went in they had moved everything around. Eventually I said screw it.

You sound old.

Seriously, it's always the old people who shop your store once every 4 years that are like "You've moved everything around since i was last here." I can't help it the last time you were he was when Bush was president.


Someday, you'll go into a grocery store and think "Hey, they're finally playing cool music!"  Then it will hit you, you're old.
 
2014-07-28 12:07:54 PM  
Subby - It's not as obvious as you think

Yes. Yes it is.
 
2014-07-28 12:15:23 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-07-28 12:15:27 PM  
I used to work in a grocery store, and if you thought the short distance between the truck and the cooler stopped us from leaving the milk out for four hours on occasion, then you're crazy.

/delivery was supposed to be at 7 or so, and sometimes they came as early as 4. With freezer/cooler staff coming in just a few hours, no one else is going to step up and waste an hour moving and rotating the milk.
//Sam's Club. We sold a town of milk.
 
2014-07-28 12:15:56 PM  

Road Rash: It does make some sense to keep the refrigerated perishables away from the warmer areas of the store; i.e. the front doors.


I don't think I've ever noticed any significant difference between the temperature at the front of a store and anywhere else in the store(except the open coolers areas). I walk through the two sets of doors and the air door and the temperature is right at room temperature, even when it is 110 outside.
 
2014-07-28 12:19:57 PM  

jayphat: Oreamnos: BizarreMan: Next you're going to tell me that they really rearrange the entire store every few years to make it more convenient for me and not to make me wander every damn aisle looking for things.

There's a place (not a grocery store but a big box retailer) I essentially stopped shopping at because each time I went in they had moved everything around. Eventually I said screw it.

You sound old.

Seriously, it's always the old people who shop your store once every 4 years that are like "You've moved everything around since i was last here." I can't help it the last time you were he was when Bush was president.


Nah, one of the retailers around here was doing that.  I think FYP or Sam Goody's or something.

I think they might have been scrambling things around in an attempt to attract customers.  It's now closed.

/That whole mall is closing.
//Rumors of the city buying the space abound.
 
2014-07-28 12:56:35 PM  

skrame: I used to work in a grocery store, and if you thought the short distance between the truck and the cooler stopped us from leaving the milk out for four hours on occasion, then you're crazy.

/delivery was supposed to be at 7 or so, and sometimes they came as early as 4. With freezer/cooler staff coming in just a few hours, no one else is going to step up and waste an hour moving and rotating the milk.
//Sam's Club. We sold a town of milk.


WHO RUN MILKTOWN!?
 
2014-07-28 01:22:31 PM  

Road Rash: Ker_Thwap: There's no excuse for a consumer not to be informed these days.

I won't shop Ikea, because I'm not cattle, to be forced through a maze.  When the grocery store puts up those little chains across the closed aisles, I'll unhook them and go the shortest route to the item I need, rather than being forced to detour through the dairy/bakery/produce maze.

I understand that the end displays and eye level shelves are set up with the highest profit items.  I'm not a slave to name brands.  I don't have a favorite player in Ford vs. Chevy.  I know that family size is no longer the same as economy size.

I walked out of a guitar shop the other day, because they didn't list the prices, and force you to ask for a price on every single one.  I know the purpose of the $400 blender isn't to be sold, but to make the $200 overpriced blender to look reasonable in comparison.


I walk out of shops with this policy.

As much as I would sometimes like to make them pay for wasting my time by wasting their salesperson's time, I realize it is a policy set by management and go shop elsewhere. My time is more valuable. Those places tend to be too expensive anyway - while not delivering anything of significantly greater 'value' other than the store's brand name.

/why do restaurants in airports listcprices for the food, but not for the booze?
//irritating ...


Something to do with the price elasticity of demand?
 
2014-07-28 01:29:07 PM  

Radak: TheMega: Been in stores from Fl to NY, to VA to WY.. Dakotas to TX.. WI to NV.. even up in Canada;  have NEVER seen a store do this. Always at the back of the store, yet the meat section - which oddly enough is also in a cold, refrigerated cooler or display, is ALWAYS much closer.

I've seen milk in coolers right by the register, but only single serving size, along with various impulse buy sodas and whatnot.  I've never seen full size milk by the register.


Our Giant Eagle Market District does this; they've got gallon sized milks, in all colors, eggs, cream, and a few other "quick buy" items as well. It's awesome if that's all I'm coming in to buy but most of the time, I'm doing a "big" shopping trip and go to the back to get my milk...that and I also don't like that the milk is somewhat warmer in those register coolers since they're more open and I do the "milk lady" thing and check for the latest date on the gallon that I possibly can.
 
2014-07-28 01:32:22 PM  

mongbiohazard: That's slightly incorrect. It's actually for BOTH reasons.


Sometimes both, sometimes either.  A store that has it's walk-ins and cold storage lining the entire or most of the perimeter of the building yet still places their dairy in the side farthest from--when they could just as easily put it closer to the entrance-- are most likely doing it for both reasons.  But if you look at many stores (Trader Joe's, Safeway, Giant, etc.) the only cold storage units large enough to keep the dairy section stocked are in the back, by Receiving.

This is for a number of reasons: The Dairy and Frozen sections are heavier loads than other departments and are all highly perishable items, therefore having the storage as close to the loading dock as possible saves time and money and avoids waste and loss.  Also, having one massive storage area for the dairy and frozen at the back by the dock--with smaller walk-ins for seafood, meat, and deli dispersed throughout--opens up a lot more room on the floor for merchandising, ambiance, and flow control.
 
2014-07-28 01:36:53 PM  
not every retail decision is made with the goal of tricking us

Yeah, that's what they want you to think! Clearly the author, editor, publisher, and hosting service for this piece are dupes and thralls to Big Grocery!
 
2014-07-28 02:26:27 PM  
I would like to point out, if it hasn't been already...  WalMart does not follow this model of having milk, or anything else cold, in the back of the store.  It isn't even as far from the doors as possible.  The whole refrigerated section is usually right in the front-middle.

So what does this article have to say about that?
 
2014-07-28 02:51:12 PM  

durbnpoisn: I would like to point out, if it hasn't been already...  WalMart does not follow this model of having milk, or anything else cold, in the back of the store.  It isn't even as far from the doors as possible.  The whole refrigerated section is usually right in the front-middle.

So what does this article have to say about that?


Older store design is where you shop. Newer models have the frozen goods and milk coolers centrally located towards the back to cut down on refrigerant lines running through the store. This design alone saved something like 75K while building the store.
 
2014-07-28 03:34:17 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
can't believe I'm first
 
2014-07-28 03:42:59 PM  

Bob Falfa: Are there people who don't know this? For reals?


Possibly the same people who think food magically appears on the shelves and who don't realize there's a whole part of the store that customers don't get to see.
 
2014-07-28 03:52:42 PM  

Raoul Eaton: Bob Falfa: Are there people who don't know this? For reals?

Possibly the same people who think food magically appears on the shelves and who don't realize there's a whole part of the store that customers don't get to see.


My step-brothers 19 year old daughter.

CSB: While going to visit them on a mini-vacation we went to the coast for a few days. When we got there, turns out there was an FFA convention. She asks what it stands for. We tell her "Future Farmers of America." She then asks "People CHOOSE to be farmers?" The next answer astounded me.
We asked her, "Where do you think FOOD comes from?"
"Well, the grocery store of course"
I weep for the future.
 
2014-07-28 04:11:24 PM  

skrame: I used to work in a grocery store, and if you thought the short distance between the truck and the cooler stopped us from leaving the milk out for four hours on occasion, then you're crazy.

/delivery was supposed to be at 7 or so, and sometimes they came as early as 4. With freezer/cooler staff coming in just a few hours, no one else is going to step up and waste an hour moving and rotating the milk.
//Sam's Club. We sold a town of milk.


We usually just left it on the truck until the crew came in.

/Had to unload one of those trucks at the end of an 8-hour shift. The truck had come in late and we couldn't let it sit overnight. Took forgoddamnever since I weighed about 150 pounds and those racks were huge. Got paid hella overtime.
//Former cartpusher
 
2014-07-28 04:21:07 PM  
The reason milk is at the back of the store is so that you will have to walk past other displays to
get it....and, being an impulsive buyer, get other things as well.  (In Jeff MacNelly's comic strip
"Pluggers" - you may not remember it - one day the caption read, "A plugger is someone who
goes to the store for milk, spends $40, and forgets the milk".  The store plans it that way.)
 
2014-07-28 04:55:01 PM  
Then why not put the milk and cooler in the front and just have people enter through the back so the trucks aren't in their way when delivering?

yeah.  that'll fix it.

(you know someone's gonna take me seriously)
 
2014-07-28 04:55:42 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 494x336]
can't believe I'm first


I've been coming here for a decade and have never gotten an explanation for that image.
 
2014-07-28 05:01:24 PM  

rooftop235: There is more conversation over the placement of milk than there is over the fact that milk causes cancer.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035081_pasteurized_milk_cancer_dairy.htm l


So much for any credibility you might have had.
 
2014-07-28 05:07:15 PM  

akya: The gas stations in my area specifically advertise you should buy milk from them because they keep the milk close to the register, and in a much smaller store.

The commercial is basically like an infomercial.  "Don't you hate walking all the way to the back of the grocery store, then all the way back to the register? It's like you've walked a mile just for the milk! Come to kwik-e-mart."


One of the little things about South Korea that I found a bit amazing is that they have convenience stores like 7-Eleven but the prices are no higher there than in the regular grocery store.   You get all the convenience without having to pay any more.  It's great.

Conversely, if I were to put together a list of things to put into a guidebook about the USA (especially if it were to be written specifically for Koreans), the degree to which convenience stores in the USA overcharge is something I'd warn then about.
 
2014-07-28 06:33:07 PM  

This text is now purple: Contrabulous Flabtraption: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 494x336]
can't believe I'm first

I've been coming here for a decade and have never gotten an explanation for that image.


some stupid art thing: http://charliewhite.info/understanding-joshua/ (NSFW images)
 
2014-07-28 06:45:21 PM  

MrBallou: If the nefarious plans of the grocery store to subliminally trick you into grabbing two of every item in the store on your way to get a pint of half-n-half are the worst of your problems, you've got it pretty easy.

Impulse buys are for the weak minded.


so why the 5$ a month?
 
2014-07-28 07:43:58 PM  

rooftop235: There is more conversation over the placement of milk than there is over the fact that milk causes cancer.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035081_pasteurized_milk_cancer_dairy.html

[stealherstyle.net image 500x333]


...wouldn't mind giving Hayley Williams some milk...

/giggity
 
2014-07-28 07:45:55 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: This text is now purple: Contrabulous Flabtraption: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 494x336]
can't believe I'm first

I've been coming here for a decade and have never gotten an explanation for that image.

some stupid art thing: http://charliewhite.info/understanding-joshua/ (NSFW images)


I love how people can draw the most absolutely retarded things(or in this case take pics of the strangest shiat), and call it art.
 
2014-07-28 09:34:15 PM  

jayphat: Contrabulous Flabtraption: This text is now purple: Contrabulous Flabtraption: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 494x336]
can't believe I'm first

I've been coming here for a decade and have never gotten an explanation for that image.

some stupid art thing: http://charliewhite.info/understanding-joshua/ (NSFW images)

I love how people can draw the most absolutely retarded things(or in this case take pics of the strangest shiat), and call it art.


It made a lot more sense when I thought it was from some porno for deviated preverts. Like the kind Something Awful used to make fun of like the Clown Porn with a rubber chicken.
 
2014-07-29 12:29:33 AM  

Fano: WHO RUN MILKTOWN!?


Haha. Dammit!

robertus: We usually just left it on the truck until the crew came in.

/Had to unload one of those trucks at the end of an 8-hour shift. The truck had come in late and we couldn't let it sit overnight. Took forgoddamnever since I weighed about 150 pounds and those racks were huge. Got paid hella overtime.
//Former cartpusher


Dairy came from a vendor. They unloaded the truck in the receiving area and then the f/c staff had to come grab the racks.

/at our store, overtime usually meant getting written up or missing a break or something.
//that's why I got a little class action settlement
///also former cartpusher, among other things
 
2014-07-29 12:36:11 AM  
My local kroger actually has a small fridge with milk right next to the registers, and I believe the walmart does well. Of course, they have the big coolers  with the walk-in employee access in the back of the store as well. But if the primary intention of that is a big conspiracy to make you walk past all the chips which you must buy if you see them, they are doing a terrible job of it. In fact, most stores now have all the staples on the outside ring. In my Kroger, if you walk in the direction of the store in which you are pretty much led and don't intentionally turn to go down aisles, it goes produce, deli/bakery, meat/seafood, beer, dairy, frozen, and then the registers. So once again, they are doing a terrible job of forcing you to buy those chips.
 
2014-07-29 01:29:27 AM  
I just pay the $9 to have Von's deliver my groceries, and that's usually waved by a coupon or by selecting a "green" delivery time frame. Then I don't have to care where the milk is housed and somebody else can carry it up my shiatty, steep stairs.
 
2014-07-29 02:18:48 AM  
I wanna know who these impulsive schmucks are that supposedly fill their carts with everything they see on the way to the dairy aisle.

When I go into the store to buy milk I zoom straight to the dairy aisle, grab the milk, and head immediately for the till, without paying attention to what's in the other aisles. Impulse buying is for when I'm picking up a whole load of groceries and actually taking the time to browse.
 
2014-07-29 11:54:32 AM  

ginandbacon: Every once in a while I'll be reaching in to grab some cream and someone will be back there stocking my shelf and I almost infarct.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ek_1s3DHWk

Obligatory
 
2014-07-29 03:05:23 PM  
You know most stores now-a-days have delis and produce up front, it's almost like if they wanted to they could build their walk in coolers near the front, but for some reason they don't.
 
2014-07-29 04:06:00 PM  

doglover: The author of this article has never heard of "two birds, one stone" before.


More of a causation thing.

Originally, they put it in the back of the store to make people go through the store. Most women didn't work and went shopping basically every day.

Then, things changed. But we're not about to demolish grocery stores and rebuild them with coolers in the front. That's why a lot of places put a little cooler near the front door with some milk in it, which is really annoying for the stock boys to fill. It doesn't actually turn over that much because most people don't use it, so it ends up causing more waste.

Also, people are used to it being in the same place and get mad when you move stuff (try working at a store during a remodel).
 
2014-07-29 04:10:03 PM  

robertus: skrame: I used to work in a grocery store, and if you thought the short distance between the truck and the cooler stopped us from leaving the milk out for four hours on occasion, then you're crazy.

/delivery was supposed to be at 7 or so, and sometimes they came as early as 4. With freezer/cooler staff coming in just a few hours, no one else is going to step up and waste an hour moving and rotating the milk.
//Sam's Club. We sold a town of milk.

We usually just left it on the truck until the crew came in.

/Had to unload one of those trucks at the end of an 8-hour shift. The truck had come in late and we couldn't let it sit overnight. Took forgoddamnever since I weighed about 150 pounds and those racks were huge. Got paid hella overtime.
//Former cartpusher


Ha, I had a similar story. It was the 4th of July, so I was getting time and a half already. The dairy truck was late and came at the end of my shift. The manager on duty didn't want to unload it because if you don't know how to use a power jack and move the milk pallet the wrong way... splat goes the milk. So she asked me to do it.

She didn't know they'd have to pay me holiday overtime pay. She got in big trouble the next day.
 
2014-07-29 04:21:15 PM  

parasol: durbnpoisn: There is no news here.  About the only thing I could add that also makes sense is that the coolers should be as far away from the front door as possible.  Every time you open the door, you are letting the cool air out, and warm air in.  Obviously the air nearer the front door is not as controlled as the air at the far back.

Very sensible - I would have traded it for the inverse recently - one of the coolers at the grocery "went bad" - it was emitting some small amount of smoke and smelled like......burning plastic with a hint of diesel and metal and caused an immediate sharp head pain.
The floor staff seemed quite unconcerned ("yeah, we know, someone's gonna fix it") but the smell remained for days - I guess lack of ventilation

The same store also seems to attract birds who fly in and can't get back out


Protip: all stores attract birds. Most stores hire guys with pellet guns to kill and remove them whenever an issue arises.
 
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