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  #1  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:15 PM
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Default Milk is always at the back of the store

We pulled in to a supermarket we had never been to as a friend wanted to get some milk. He walked straight in, went to the back corner opposite the entrance, and came back with the milk. When I asked if he had been there before and knew where to look, he told me that milk is always in the far corner from the entrance.
Someone also said it applies to bread. My shop is like that, but is it common or even universal?
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  #2  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:18 PM
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I think it's pretty universal -- it's a common drop-in item, and if it's furthest from the door, potential impulse shoppers have to walk past all the other inventory to get to it.

"Oh yeah, I also need bread. And look, Pepsi's on sale!" etc.

Four Kitties
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  #3  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:19 PM
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True that except that at my Wegman's there is a small dairy cooler up front.
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  #4  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
We pulled in to a supermarket we had never been to as a friend wanted to get some milk. He walked straight in, went to the back corner opposite the entrance, and came back with the milk. When I asked if he had been there before and knew where to look, he told me that milk is always in the far corner from the entrance.
Someone also said it applies to bread. My shop is like that, but is it common or even universal?
The physical arrangement of any retail store is an exercise in marketing science. In this particular case, you're talking about the kind of staples that people actually come into the store looking for. If they found these at the front, then they'd likely turn right back around and leave. Put them at the back, and you can march them past all of your clever sales displays on the way there, and again on the way back. If they're hungry when they come in, so much the better.
The arrangement may not be quite universal, but it's extremely common.
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  #5  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:21 PM
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The refrigerated truck backs into the refrigerated dock to unload directly into refrigerated storage and dairy. The dairy products are not exposed to temperature changes. Your milk stays at the proper temperature until you take it to the checkout.
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  #6  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by glass papaya View Post
The refrigerated truck backs into the refrigerated dock to unload directly into refrigerated storage and dairy. The dairy products are not exposed to temperature changes. Your milk stays at the proper temperature until you take it to the checkout.
In an ideal world, maintaining the chill chain would be paramount. But it just doesn't happen. Truly.

I've ever even seen a store with a dedicated chill dock.
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  #7  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:41 PM
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I have previously read of the "make 'em pass displays" reason as that for putting the staples at the back. However, it has been a long time since any grocery in this area has kept the bread on anything than a regular aisle. Perhaps this is not considered such a critical pop-in item anymore.

I have also wondered though, if there is not some cooling advantage to having all the freezers and coolers (dairy, produce) etc. around the periphery. Grocery stores are usually kept cooler than other stores because there is so much to keep cool (during the late 70s energy crunch they were given a special exemption to keep their A/C set to a lower temp), so perhaps a peripheral placement puts them where the A/C blows hardest, either taking some of the load off the coolers, or the coolers assisting the cooling of the rest of the store (if the coolers are vented through the wall).
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  #8  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
In an ideal world, maintaining the chill chain would be paramount. But it just doesn't happen. Truly.

I've ever even seen a store with a dedicated chill dock.
I have. DD works in one. Unloading and stocking dairy is her job. Not to say that this is the case in all stores, but I do know of at least one.
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  #9  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass papaya View Post
I have. DD works in one. Unloading and stocking dairy is her job. Not to say that this is the case in all stores, but I do know of at least one.
A retail outlet or an RDC?
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  #10  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:49 PM
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The bread is in the front of both of our local grocery stores.
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  #11  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
A retail outlet or an RDC?
Dairy section of Wal-Mart Supercenter.
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  #12  
Old 22 October 2007, 06:56 PM
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Glasses

At least in the stores and quick stops I've frequented, the milk, beer, etc. coolers are along the wall so that loading them from the truck does not involve toting them through the store. It also makes restocking easier as you don't have to load the milk on carts and haul it to the front. The racks of stored milk load directly to the sale racks (I've seen the frozen little elves loading milk into the racks). Same thing for the beer/chilled drink displays.

Also the same for the meat department. They don't have to haul cow parts through the store.

But that's just been my experience at the stores I frequent.
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  #13  
Old 22 October 2007, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerdog View Post
True that except that at my Wegman's there is a small dairy cooler up front.
It is the same for the one in Sterling. Which happens to be right where the Ice Cream is. Sneaking people at Wegman's but man do I love shopping there.
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  #14  
Old 22 October 2007, 07:26 PM
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Most supermarkets I go to have an in-store bakery and as the back of the shop is the most convenient place for it that is where the bread is. Milk, I find, could be anywhere, not always at the back, but it never appears to be close to the bread so that people who just want bread and milk have to walk past lots of other tempting goodies.

On BBC Radio 4 I once listened to a documentary on supermarket layouts (yes, really) and they said that bread is often sold as a 'loss leader' to tempt people into the shops, but that - especially in the south of England - they tend to have the fruit, veg and fresh flowers at the entrance to give the supermarket a feeling that everything is natural.

Papers and magazines also tend to be close to the entrance to draw people in and tempt them to buy other products whilst there.
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  #15  
Old 23 October 2007, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
they tend to have the fruit, veg and fresh flowers at the entrance to give the supermarket a feeling that everything is natural.
Thus ironically ruining their flowers because certain types of fruit release chemicals that cause the blooms to wilt faster. Drives my florist friend up the wall.
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  #16  
Old 23 October 2007, 11:03 AM
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My small local supermarket has magazines and papers when you walk in, then bread and fresh fruit/veg. Milk is at the back.
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  #17  
Old 23 October 2007, 11:23 AM
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Tesco in Glossop has the milk pretty close to the front of the store, though most of the supermarkets I can think of do either have it at the back or I'm not entirely sure where they are.
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  #18  
Old 23 October 2007, 11:44 AM
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The Tesco not half a mile from my house has the bakery items in the furthest corner from the entrance. Milk is in the first refrigerated aisle, right next to the fruit and veg, along with the butter, margarine and cheese. Sandwiches and newspapers are by the entrance.
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  #19  
Old 23 October 2007, 02:03 PM
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when i was a kid, we called the local corner store (like 7-11) the milk store.
you could run in and get milk and bread without the long walk by just paying a little more.
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  #20  
Old 23 October 2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass papaya View Post
The refrigerated truck backs into the refrigerated dock to unload directly into refrigerated storage and dairy. The dairy products are not exposed to temperature changes. Your milk stays at the proper temperature until you take it to the checkout.
Not always. The refrigerated trucks may drop product off in the back - but some places have their coolers in a different part of the store and product gets moved off the truck sometimes to the other side of the store.

Anyway, most milk is located towards the back of the store since it has to be stored there with all other refrigerated dairy (cheese, eggs, etc). Most of these refrigerated areas are located where stock comes in which tends to be at the back of the store.

And yes, it is cold back there.
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