Review: Upon Returning to the Newly Aisled Supermarket

Note: Delicate refridgeration machinery, now elsewhere

What’s being tested?

The 2nd time you attempt to navigate your regular supermarket after its aisles and products have been rearranged for unspecified conditions.

What we found

Pros: While the novelty of the rearrangement had dissipated slightly upon returning to the recalibrated market-effect warehouse, many of our testers still felt a degree of excitement while attempting to navigate the still relatively unfamiliar isles, a rapture not unlike the one presumably felt by the young contestants attempting to accomplish an optimum run through the final round of Pat Sharpe’s seminal early 90’s entertainment property, ‘Fun House’ (please note; not the adult version). Many of the rearranged stores on test were willing to play ‘crazy sax’ music over the intercom for the duration of our shop, which augmented the experience greatly.  Some of our reviewers even found the return trip to be a more rewarding competitive experience than the previous, as it was easy to discern the advantage a 2nd timer had over someone who had only just realised that this-wasn’t-how-they-remembered-it-being. A few of our testers found a degree of satisfaction in recognising the shoppers who formed the latter category , and by either actively helping them navigate the store, or convincing them that entire food groups had been phased out and no longer existed, many of these testers found the rearrangement to be a continually rewarding experience.

Cons: A degree of our testers experienced the same uncontrollable burning primeval rage they had felt upon entering the rearranged supermarket on the first occasion, suggesting that they still believed, sub-consciously or otherwise, that they had been deliberately hoodwinked by the chain of their choice, and that ‘everyone was laughing at them’, albeit unfairly. Many of our reviewers noted that the majority of the staff had ceased exhibiting visible signs of guilt in response to individual customer confusion, with the majority of those questioned refusing to acknowledge the recalibration without significant and ultimately physical prompting. It’s worth noting that much of the negativity surrounding the aisles being changed could have been avoided if the supermarket(s) had just asked what our testers thought prior to the rearrangement, and listened to what we might have liked for a change, without going off and just doing their own thing, which was, on balance, hurtful and thoughtless.

Verdict

While the change in layout was undeniably an inconvenience, we found that it also represented an opportunity, and the chance to see things from a fresh perspective. The majority of our testers enjoyed seeing their favourite brands in bold new contexts, and, despite many members of staff refusing to even entertain the idea that things had changed even slightly, it was generally considered that the aisle re-boot would be hugely beneficial on all fronts, and would never have to be undertaken again, at tremendous financial cost, in 4 months time.

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