July 15, 2010

Mental Maps

Mental Maps I recently went grocery shopping at a store I’d never been to before, Stew Leonard’s, and, no offense to Stew, I am unlikely to be a repeat customer.  While there were some things about the store that were better than most grocery stores, the experience drove me nuts.  Here’s why. The store is laid out completely differently from standard grocery stores.  Most stores, even unusual ones like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, have a nearly identical layout.  One side is produce, frozen foods in the middle, meats in the back, dairy around the other side, standard aisles have bread, baking stuff, cans, cereals, drinks and snacks, etc.  Go shopping enough, and you can generally find your way around any store in your sleep. Stew Leonard’s decided to break the model.  The store has no aisles and is linear – you just keep walking in one direction/flow and hit every single section of the store before you reach the end of the maze at the cashiers.  One bonus is that they merchandise some things well and put logical items next to each other (burgers next to buns).  But you can’t really go back if you missed something, you have […]