Ask Andy: supermarket "marketing" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: supermarket "marketing"

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - They put the "marketing" in "supermarket."

They are the clever plays of persuasion your favorite grocery stores employ in the hope that you'll buy a few more items than what's on your shopping list.

Martin Lindstrom, author of Brandwashed:  Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy, recommended shoppers look out for these:

* "SPEED BUMPS." Ever rammed a cart into one of these? It's the textured flooring in the middle of an aisle. Lindstrom said some supermarkets design textured flooring so that you will slow your roll -- right at the premium stuff. Sales of that stuff jump six percent when they're shelved next to a speed bump, according to Lindstrom.

* COUNTERCLOCKWISE SHOPPING. This is why the entrances to most grocery stores are on the right. Lindstrom said customers spend up to seven percent more shopping counterclockwise because most shoppers are right-handed. You go in on the right, you start grabbing with the right.

* FRESH IS UP-FRONT. Fresh-cut flowers, fresh fruit -- they're always the first thing you see when the sliding door swishes open. They make you connect the whole store with freshness. Suddenly, you've veered off your shopping list.

* FISH ON ICE. Come on, seafood manager. It's a cooler! You don't need the fancy crushed ice to keep that fish from spoiling. But that crushed ice says "fresh," even if that fish came out of a frozen shipping crate.

Let me make it clear: there's nothing unethical about these tricks. They are marketing strategies, not unlike the strategies companies use in newspaper ads and television commercials.

But you have a right to know -- and be a smarter shopper.

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