The High Street v. Super Marketing . . .

The High Street, the generic and often official name of the primary business street of towns or cities in the United Kingdom. It is usually a focal point for individual, independent shops and retailers in city centres. This is where my grandmother would have done her shopping. Some retailers would offer a delivery service, normally a small boy on a large bike fitted with an enormous basket, for a small fee.

The milkman, dispatched from a central depot, would make local doorstep deliveries on a daily basis or sell goods ‘from the wagon’ as people wished.

In recent years though, while the term High Street has continued to refer to commerce, shopping has begun to shift to purpose-built out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets.

The supermarket typically comprises meat, fish, fresh produce, dairy and baked goods departments which recreate the independent shopkeepers of years gone by. The traditional trades of butcher, fishmonger, grocer, milkman and baker have been eroded by the ability of the Supermarkets to undercut their business by reducing their economic margins on certain products, staple foods such as bread, milk and sugar, being sold as loss leaders.

To maintain a profit, supermarkets can then attempt to make up for the lower margins on essential items by a higher overall volume of sales.

To this end most supermarkets will also sell a wide variety of other products that are consumed regularly, such as alcohol, medicine, household cleaners, pharmacy products, pet supplies and clothes, with some stores selling a much broader range.

While branding and store advertising differ from company to company, the layout of a supermarket remains fairly generic. Although the big companies spend time giving consumers a pleasant shopping experience, the design of a supermarket is directly connected to the in-store marketing that companies must conduct in order to get shoppers to spend more money.
Supermarkets are designed to “give each product section a sense of individual difference and this is evident in the design of what are called the anchor departments; fresh produce, dairy, delicatessen, meat and the bakery”

Sounds just like a traditional High Street!
Marketers use well researched techniques to control purchasing behaviour. Different floor coverings, style, lighting and individual services counters allow shoppers to feel as if there are a number of smaller ‘markets’ or ‘shops’ within the supermarket. Marketers use well researched techniques to try control purchasing behaviour:
1) High draw products are placed in strategic areas to keep drawing the consumer through the store.
2) High impulse and high margin products are placed in the most predominant areas.
3) Power products are placed on both sides of the aisle to increase product awareness.
4) End caps are used to expose products on special promotion or as part of a campaign.

The layout of a supermarket is designed to create a high degree of convenience to the consumer, to make the shopping experience pleasant, to influence purchasing by the careful presentation of high end goods. Two effective but simple store layout techniques are to locate necessary goods, such as bread and milk toward the rear of the store, forcing shoppers to walk through the isles and hopefully purchase another product while fruit and vegetables placed at the front of the store to give the supermarket a fresh and healthy image.

Granny Robertson would have taken it all in, shaken her head slowly and handed her neatly written shopping list to a passing assistant. Gripping their forearm she would have asked softly if it could be delivered before heading off for home and a nice cup of tea!

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