Designer grocers

Like what is this place optimized for, places are designed to increase or reduce action frictions. Grocery stores for the end consumer are designed for comfort – stores for middlemen are designed for speed.

The end consumer grocery store has wide aisle to avoid the butt brush effect, produce in the front (colors have a relaxing effect), and pasta near the sauce because customers look for complimentary items. Fish and coffee are separate because of the smells. Stuff for kids is on lower stuff. The blueprint for a traditional grocery store is called a planogram.

For a dark grocery store the layout is different. The aisles are smaller. The seltzer is separated. Spaghetti and linguini are parted too. Salt and pepper also. In dark stores the design goal is speed which means reducing confusion. Also, shot glasses, bags, foil, garbage bags, batteries, and foil pans are next to each other because those items are ordered for parties.

Nothing new here, just a reminder that design guides behavior. It can be how we count calories or answer financial questions or avoid drinks or break fasts or track travel. We need reminders because we are all designers.