Groceries At Eye Level Cost More

Have you ever noticed that your local grocery store has all the milk and eggs at the very opposite end of the store as the entrance? This may be because you will have to walk by more items before grabbing the ones you want, which means you are more likely to buy more.

Product manufacturers can also pay grocery stores to place their items on the middle shelves since people spend more time looking at items placed at eye-level, and hence are more likely to purchase them. In aisles with products that may appeal to children, these items may be placed at their eye-level, i.e. on the lower shelves.

It would seem that supermarkets have spent lots of money on hiring psychologists and marketers to make more money from consumers – and it seems the investment was worthwhile. They go so far as to analyze the probability of turning left versus right upon entering a store so that they can place higher priced items on the path most traveled – so that by the time that you have made your way through most of the store you will be getting to the lower cost items. Based on having seen the higher priced items earlier, the lower prices on the smaller items comparatively seem like a bargain, and you are more likely to purchase more of both if you start by seeing the higher priced items first.

You can read more about slotting fees here.

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee
...is an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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  • Michael James

    I’ve been told that milk is often sold at a slight loss and is placed in the most inconvenient part of a grocery store so that you have to go past all the high margin items to get milk.

  • Preet

    Interesting. Any supermarket managers/workers care to weigh in? You can post anonymously (your email address doesn’t show up), or if you prefer you can email me directly.

    I just realized I don’t have a new contact page! I’ll put that at the top of my priority list for the new site tweaking.

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